Methylene blue (MB) is a medication commonly used to treat methemoglobinemia, reducing methemoglobin to hemoglobin. A novel use of MB, as detailed here, is in the treatment of refractory hypotension. A number of reports have detailed use of MB for this purpose in adults, but few data in pediatrics. A 22-month-old girl with Noonan syndrome, biventricular hypertrophic cardiomyopathy, and chronic positive pressure ventilation developed shock with tachycardia, hypotension, and fever after 3 days of diarrhea. She was critically ill, with warm extremities, bounding pulses, and brisk capillary refill. Laboratory tests revealed metabolic acidosis, low mixed venous oxygen saturation, and leukocytosis with bandemia. Treatment of severe septic shock was initiated with fluid resuscitation, inotropic support, sedation, and paralysis. She remained hypotensive despite norepinephrine at 0.7 μg/kg per minute, dopamine at 20 μg/kg per minute, and vasopressin at 0.04 U/kg per hour. Her vasoplegic shock worsened, despite aggressive conventional therapy. Intravenous MB was initiated, with a loading dose of 1 mg/kg followed by a continuous infusion at 0.25 mg/kg per hour. Upon initiation of MB, her systolic blood pressure increased by 33 points (40% increase), and diastolic blood pressure increased by 20 points (46% increase). She was able to wean off all inotropes quickly after initiation of MB. MB should be considered in the setting of refractory vasoplegic shock in the PICU.
- Accepted June 2, 2015.
- Copyright © 2015 by the American Academy of Pediatrics