Outcome of patients with septic shock and high-dose vasopressor therapy

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Background: Despite the dissemination of international guidelines, mortality from septic shock remains high. Norepinephrine is recommended as first-line vasopressor therapy with a target mean arterial pressure of 65 mmHg. High-dose vasopressor (HDV) may also be required. This study aimed to assess survival in patients with septic shock requiring HDV. We conducted a retrospective study of patients admitted between January 2008 and December 2013 to a 13-bed ICU for septic shock and receiving high-dose vasopressor therapy (defined by a dose >1 µg/kg/min). Primary outcome was 28-day mortality (D28). Secondary outcomes were 90-day mortality (D90), organ failure score (SOFA), duration of organ failure, duration and dosage of vasopressor agent and ischemic complications. Results: In our cohort of 106 patients, mortality reached 60.4% at D28 and 66.3% at D90. One in two patients died before D10. The weight-based mean dose of vasopressor (WMD) represented the best prognostic factor. Using a cutoff of 0.75 µg/kg/min, WMD was associated with mortality with a sensitivity of 73% and specificity of 74%. The mortality rate reached 86.4% when WMD was above the cutoff value and associated with a SOFA score >10. Digital or limb necrosis was documented in 6 patients (5.7%). Conclusions: In total, 40% of septic shock patients receiving high-dose vasopressor therapy survived at day 28 after admission. A WMD cutoff value of 0.75 µg/kg/min, associated with a >10 SOFA score, was a strong predictor of death. These results provide insights into outcome of refractory septic shock, showing that administration of high-dose vasopressor may indeed be useful in these patients.




Auchet, T., Regnier, M. A., Girerd, N., & Levy, B. (2017). Outcome of patients with septic shock and high-dose vasopressor therapy. Annals of Intensive Care, 7(1). https://doi.org/10.1186/s13613-017-0261-x

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