Sepsis (Sub-Category)

The pathophysiology and treatment of sepsis

RS Hotchkiss
IE Karl

Sepsis is the leading cause of death in critically ill patients in the United States.  Sepsis develops in 750,000 people annually, and more than 210,000 of them die.  After numerous unsuccessful trials of anti-inflammatory agents in patients with sepsis, investigators doubted that mortality could be decreased.  Advances in unraveling the pathophysiology and genetic basis for the host response to sepsis have changed the prevailing understanding of the syndrome, and several therapies have demonstrated surprising efficacy.  In this article, we examine evolving concepts of sepsis and discuss new and potential therapies.

PubMed to Article:  Hotchkiss RS, Karl IE. The pathophysiology and treatment of sepsis. N Engl J Med. 2003 Jan 9;348(2):138-50. Review. PubMed PMID: 12519925.