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Surg Clin North Am. 1995 Apr;75(2):257-77.

Evolving concepts in the pathogenesis of postinjury multiple organ failure.

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  • 1Denver General Hospital, Colorado.


Early epidemiologic studies concluded that infection with systemic sepsis was the common pathway for the development of ARDS and eventual MOF. As a consequence, research investigation from 1977 to 1987 focused on later clinical events (e.g., immunosuppression, persistent hypercatabolism, and bacterial translocation). Now, it is believed that an initial massive traumatic insult can create severe SIRS independent of infection (one-hit model). Alternatively, a less severe traumatic insult can create an inflammatory environment (i.e., primes the host) such that a later, otherwise innocuous, secondary inflammatory insult precipitates severe SIRS (two-hit model). As a result of these newer inflammatory models, research interest during the last 5 years has shifted to investigating earlier clinical events (e.g., unrecognized flow-dependent oxygen consumption, ischemia/reperfusion, and priming/activation of the inflammatory response).

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