Twenty-four hours after caecal ligation and perforation to create sepsis, moderately hypotensive rats (average decrease in mean arterial pressure [MAP] 20% from pre-septic values) were anaesthetized. Next, intravital video-microscopy was performed on 6-10 villi of ileum mucosa (M0). The treatment group then received a continuous infusion of AVP to increase MAP by 20 mmHg (M1) and 40 mmHg (M2) from M0, while the control group received only normal saline. Measurements were repeated at M1 and M2. Video recordings were analysed by a blinded investigator. Diameter of terminal arterioles (Artd) were determined and stopped flow across the villus microcirculation (total arrest of villus blood flow > 1 s) was quantified.