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Arterial blood pressure during early sepsis and outcome

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To evaluate the association between arterial blood pressure (ABP) during the first 24 h and mortality in sepsis.


Retrospective cohort study.


Multidisciplinary intensive care unit (ICU).

Patients and participants

A total of 274 septic patients.



Measurements and results

Hemodynamic, and laboratory parameters were extracted from a PDMS database. The hourly time integral of ABP drops below clinically relevant systolic arterial pressure (SAP), mean arterial pressure (MAP), and mean perfusion pressure (MPP = MAP − central venous pressure) levels was calculated for the first 24 h after ICU admission and compared with 28-day-mortality. Binary and linear regression models (adjusted for SAPS II as a measure of disease severity), and a receiver operating characteristic (ROC) analysis were applied. The areas under the ROC curve were largest for the hourly time integrals of ABP drops below MAP 60 mmHg (0.779 vs. 0.764 for ABP drops below MAP 55 mmHg; P ≤ 0.01) and MPP 45 mmHg. No association between the hourly time integrals of ABP drops below certain SAP levels and mortality was detected. One or more episodes of MAP < 60 mmHg increased the risk of death by 2.96 (CI 95%, 1.06–10.36, = 0.04). The area under the ROC curve to predict the need for renal replacement therapy was highest for the hourly time integral of ABP drops below MAP 75 mmHg.


A MAP level ≥ 60 mmHg may be as safe as higher MAP levels during the first 24 h of ICU therapy in septic patients. A higher MAP may be required to maintain kidney function.

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The authors are indebted to Mrs. Pia Burri and Mr. Roy Lanz for their invaluable assistance in extracting the study variables from the database.

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Correspondence to Martin W. Dünser.

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Dünser, M.W., Takala, J., Ulmer, H. et al. Arterial blood pressure during early sepsis and outcome. Intensive Care Med 35, 1225–1233 (2009).

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