Adjunctive therapies for sepsis and septic shock
- Cite this article as:
- Breen, G. & Tunkel, A.R. Curr Infect Dis Rep (1999) 1: 224. doi:10.1007/s11908-999-0023-5
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The inflammatory cascade that ensues after an infectious insult is protean in its manifestations, resulting in mild self-limited illness in some patients, while progressing to fulminant sepsis and multisystem organ failure in others. Research into the pathophysiology of this cascade has been intense, but advances in the treatment of sepsis have been few and far between. Although mortality rates have been impacted slightly in patients with sepsis—with improved survival in certain patient subgroups—overall survival still reaches only 55% to 60%. In this paper we will review some of the most recent advances in the therapy of the sepsis syndrome, specifically the roles of cytokine modifiers, supranormal delivery of oxygen, granulocyte colony-stimulating factor administration in leukopenic patients, and parenteral nutrition. Hopefully, these modalities represent additional steps in the path towards a meaningful improvement in survival from this catastrophic condition.