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J Infect Dis. 2006 Jan 15;193(2):251-8. Epub 2005 Dec 13.

The duration of hypotension before the initiation of antibiotic treatment is a critical determinant of survival in a murine model of Escherichia coli septic shock: association with serum lactate and inflammatory cytokine levels.

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  • 1Division of Cardiovascular Diseases and Critical Care Medicine, Cooper Hospital/University Medical Center, Robert Wood Johnson Medical School, University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey, Camden, New Jersey. akumar61@yahoo.com

Abstract

BACKGROUND:

This study was designed to examine the relationship between the timing of antibiotic treatment and both survival rates and hemodynamic/inflammatory correlates of survival in a murine model of Escherichia coli septic shock.

METHODS:

Surgical implantation of an E. coli (O18:K1:H7)-laced, gelatin capsule-encased fibrinogen clot was used to generate a bacteremic model of murine septic shock. Survival duration, hemodynamic responses, and circulating serum tumor necrosis factor (TNF)-alpha , interleukin (IL)-6, and lactate levels were assessed in relation to increasing delays in or absence of antibiotic treatment.

RESULTS:

A critical inflection point with respect to survival occurred between 12 and 15 h after implantation. When initiated at or before 12 h, antibiotic treatment resulted in < or = 20% mortality, but, when initiated at or after 15 h, it resulted in >85% mortality. Physiologically relevant hypotension developed in untreated septic mice by 12 h after implantation. Values for heart rate differed between untreated septic mice and sham-infected control mice by 6 h after implantation, whereas values for cardiac output and stroke volume did not differ until at least 18-24 h after implantation. Antibiotic treatment initiated > or = 12 h after implantation was associated with persistence of increased circulating serum lactate, TNF- alpha , and IL-6 levels.

CONCLUSIONS:

The timing of antibiotic treatment relative to hypotension is closely associated with survival in this murine model of septic shock. Delay in antibiotic treatment results in the persistence of inflammatory/stress markers even after antibiotic treatment is initiated.

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