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Crit Care Med. 2003 Apr;31(4):1068-74.

Stress doses of hydrocortisone reduce severe systemic inflammatory response syndrome and improve early outcome in a risk group of patients after cardiac surgery.

Author information

1
Department of Anesthesiology, University of Munich, Klinikum Grosshadern, Munich, Germany.

Abstract

OBJECTIVE:

Severe systemic inflammation with a vasodilatory syndrome occurs in about one third of all patients after cardiac surgery with cardiopulmonary bypass. Hydrocortisone has been used successfully to reverse vasodilation in septic patients. We evaluated if stress doses of hydrocortisone attenuate severe systemic inflammatory response syndrome in a predefined risk group of patients after cardiac surgery with cardiopulmonary bypass.

DESIGN:

Randomized, nonblinded, controlled trial.

SETTING:

Anesthesiologic intensive care unit for cardiac surgical patients of an university hospital.

PATIENTS:

After a risk analysis, we enrolled 91 patients into a prospective randomized trial. Patients were included according to the evaluated criteria (preoperative ejection fraction, duration of cardiopulmonary bypass, type of surgery).

INTERVENTIONS:

The treatment group received stress doses of hydrocortisone perioperatively: 100 mg before induction of anesthesia, then 10 mg/hr for 24 hrs, 5 mg/hr for 24 hrs, 3 x 20 mg/day, and 3 x 10 mg/day.

MEASUREMENTS AND MAIN RESULTS:

We measured various laboratory (e.g., lactate) and clinical variables (e.g., duration of ventilation and length of stay in the intensive care unit), characterizing the patients' outcome. The two study groups did not differ regarding age, preoperative medication, duration of the cardiopulmonary bypass, and type of surgery. The patients in the treatment group had significantly lower concentrations of IL-6 and lactate, higher antithrombin III concentration, lower need for circulatory and ventilatory support and for transfusions, lower Therapeutic Intervention Scoring System values, and shorter length of stay in the intensive care unit and in the hospital. The mortality rate did not differ significantly between the groups.

CONCLUSIONS:

Although we acknowledge the limitations of a nonblinded interventional trial, stress doses of hydrocortisone seem to attenuate systemic inflammation in a predefined risk group of patients after cardiac surgery with cardiopulmonary bypass and improve early outcome.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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