Twenty years ago, people thought that mortality of septic shock could be dramatically reduced by compounds like anti-endotoxin and anti-cytokin antibodies. Numerous studies failed to demonstrate any effect and a long period of depression happened. We are probably entering a new therapeutic area with several positive results, including stress doses of corticosteroïds and activated protein C. However the reduction in mortality will be far smaller than anticipated mainly because attribuable mortality of septic shock is more limited than previously thought. © 2002 Éditions scientifiques et médicales Elsevier SAS.
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