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Microvascular blood flow is altered in patients with sepsis.

American journal of respiratory and critical care medicine

drug effects, administration & dosage, pharmacology, Administration, Sublingual, Adult, Aged, Case-Control Studies, Humans, Image Interpretation, Computer-Assisted, Microcirculation, Acetylcholine, Microscopy, Polarization, Middle Aged, Mouth Floor, blood supply, Severity of Illness Index, Shock, Septic, physiopathology, Statistics, Nonparametric, Vasodilator Agents

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      Abstract

      Microvascular blood flow alterations are frequent in animal models of sepsis and may impair tissue oxygenation. We hypothesized that alterations of the microcirculation are present in patients with sepsis. We used an orthogonal polarization spectral imaging technique to investigate the sublingual microcirculation in 10 healthy volunteers, 16 patients before cardiac surgery, 10 acutely ill patients without sepsis (intensive care unit control subjects), and 50 patients with severe sepsis. The effects of topical application of acetylcholine (10(-2) M) were tested in 11 patients with sepsis. In each subject, five to seven sublingual areas were recorded and analyzed semiquantitatively. Data were analyzed with nonparametric tests and are presented as medians (25th-75th percentiles). No significant difference in microvascular blood flow was observed between healthy volunteers and patients before cardiac surgery or intensive care unit control subjects. The density of all vessels was significantly reduced in patients with severe sepsis (4.5 [4.2-5.2] versus 5.4 [5.4-6.3]/mm in volunteers, p < 0.01). The proportion of perfused small (< 20 microm) vessels was reduced in patients with sepsis (48 [33-61] versus 90 [89-92]% in volunteers, p < 0.001). These alterations were more severe in nonsurvivors. The topical application of acetylcholine totally reversed these alterations. In conclusion, microvascular blood flow alterations are frequent in patients with sepsis and are more severe in patients with a worse outcome.

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      Early goal-directed therapy in the treatment of severe sepsis and septic shock.

      Goal-directed therapy has been used for severe sepsis and septic shock in the intensive care unit. This approach involves adjustments of cardiac preload, afterload, and contractility to balance oxygen delivery with oxygen demand. The purpose of this study was to evaluate the efficacy of early goal-directed therapy before admission to the intensive care unit. We randomly assigned patients who arrived at an urban emergency department with severe sepsis or septic shock to receive either six hours of early goal-directed therapy or standard therapy (as a control) before admission to the intensive care unit. Clinicians who subsequently assumed the care of the patients were blinded to the treatment assignment. In-hospital mortality (the primary efficacy outcome), end points with respect to resuscitation, and Acute Physiology and Chronic Health Evaluation (APACHE II) scores were obtained serially for 72 hours and compared between the study groups. Of the 263 enrolled patients, 130 were randomly assigned to early goal-directed therapy and 133 to standard therapy; there were no significant differences between the groups with respect to base-line characteristics. In-hospital mortality was 30.5 percent in the group assigned to early goal-directed therapy, as compared with 46.5 percent in the group assigned to standard therapy (P = 0.009). During the interval from 7 to 72 hours, the patients assigned to early goal-directed therapy had a significantly higher mean (+/-SD) central venous oxygen saturation (70.4+/-10.7 percent vs. 65.3+/-11.4 percent), a lower lactate concentration (3.0+/-4.4 vs. 3.9+/-4.4 mmol per liter), a lower base deficit (2.0+/-6.6 vs. 5.1+/-6.7 mmol per liter), and a higher pH (7.40+/-0.12 vs. 7.36+/-0.12) than the patients assigned to standard therapy (P < or = 0.02 for all comparisons). During the same period, mean APACHE II scores were significantly lower, indicating less severe organ dysfunction, in the patients assigned to early goal-directed therapy than in those assigned to standard therapy (13.0+/-6.3 vs. 15.9+/-6.4, P < 0.001). Early goal-directed therapy provides significant benefits with respect to outcome in patients with severe sepsis and septic shock.
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        Efficacy and safety of recombinant human activated protein C for severe sepsis.

        Drotrecogin alfa (activated), or recombinant human activated protein C, has antithrombotic, antiinflammatory, and profibrinolytic properties. In a previous study, drotrecogin alfa activated produced dose-dependent reductions in the levels of markers of coagulation and inflammation in patients with severe sepsis. In this phase 3 trial, we assessed whether treatment with drotrecogin alfa activated reduced the rate of death from any cause among patients with severe sepsis. We conducted a randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled, multicenter trial. Patients with systemic inflammation and organ failure due to acute infection were enrolled and assigned to receive an intravenous infusion of either placebo or drotrecogin alfa activated (24 microg per kilogram of body weight per hour) for a total duration of 96 hours. The prospectively defined primary end point was death from any cause and was assessed 28 days after the start of the infusion. Patients were monitored for adverse events; changes in vital signs, laboratory variables, and the results of microbiologic cultures; and the development of neutralizing antibodies against activated protein C. A total of 1690 randomized patients were treated (840 in the placebo group and 850 in the drotrecogin alfa activated group). The mortality rate was 30.8 percent in the placebo group and 24.7 percent in the drotrecogin alfa activated group. On the basis of the prospectively defined primary analysis, treatment with drotrecogin alfa activated was associated with a reduction in the relative risk of death of 19.4 percent (95 percent confidence interval, 6.6 to 30.5) and an absolute reduction in the risk of death of 6.1 percent (P=0.005). The incidence of serious bleeding was higher in the drotrecogin alfa activated group than in the placebo group (3.5 percent vs. 2.0 percent, P=0.06). Treatment with drotrecogin alfa activated significantly reduces mortality in patients with severe sepsis and may be associated with an increased risk of bleeding.
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          APACHE II

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            Journal
            12091178

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