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J Infect. 2003 Nov;47(4):300-6.

Clinical prognostic markers in patients with severe sepsis: a prospective analysis of 139 consecutive cases.

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Section of Infectious Diseases, School of Medicine, Patras University, Greece.



To analyze the clinical characteristics and determine predictive factors of mortality in previously healthy individuals suffering from severe sepsis.


The study included 139 patients with severe sepsis, admitted to the Department of Medicine over a two years period. Data recorded on admission included demographic information, blood pressure, core temperature, white blood count, hepatic and renal function tests, coagulation factors, blood gases, serum lactic acid levels, simplified acute physiology score (SAPS-II) and Glasgow Coma Scale (GCS).


On admission, 62 patients were hypotensive, 52 had signs of diffuse intravascular coagulation (DIC), 72 had renal and 27 hepatic dysfunction. The overall mortality rate was 27.3%. Twenty-nine patients had septic shock on admission with a mortality rate of 62.07%. Hypoxemia, metabolic acidosis and the presence of DIC were more frequent in non-survivors, who also had significantly higher SAPS-II on admission and days 3 and 7. Independent factors associated with mortality were older age, septic shock, DIC and acute renal failure on admission, as well as SAPS-II at all time points and lactic acid levels on day 7.


Septic patients with advanced age, septic shock, renal failure, DIC and metabolic acidosis on admission are at increased risk of mortality. The sustained presence of high SAPS-II and lactacidemia one week after admission are also important risk factors of poor outcome.

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