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Online ISSN 1827-1596
Bello G., Di Muzio F., Maviglia R., Antonelli M.
Department of Anesthesiology and Intensive Care, Agostino Gemelli University Hospital, Università Cattolica del Sacro Cuore, Rome, Italy
Severe sepsis and septic shock are still the leading cause of mortality and morbidity in the intensive care unit. The inflammatory response to infection is associated with an impressive, systemic release of pro- and anti-inflammatory mediators, which results in generalized endothelial damage, multiple organ failure and altered cellular immunological responsiveness. Over the last years, the substantial advances in the understanding of sepsis have led to the development of a large number of new approaches and technologies in the management of septic patients. Extracorporeal blood purification techniques using various membrane materials have been proposed to modulate multiple inflammatory mediators, and seem to be a potential adjuvant in the treatment of sepsis. However, the use of extracorporeal blood purification techniques during sepsis still remains controversial, thus precluding any definitive recommendations on the benefit of these methods. More data are needed to better recognize septic patients who are most likely to benefit from blood purification treatments, and clarify the optimal timing, duration, and number of applications of these techniques in the daily clinical practice.