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Clin Microbiol Infect. 2009 Apr;15(4):325-34. doi: 10.1111/j.1469-0691.2009.02750.x.

Statins for sepsis: a critical and updated review.

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1
2nd Critical Care Department, Attiko University Hospital, Athens, Greece.

Abstract

There is increasing discussion of a potential role for statins in the management of sepsis. A search of PubMed, Embase, Scopus and the Cochrane Library databases was performed by combining the terms 'statins', 'infection', 'sepsis', 'bacteraemia', 'pneumonia', and 'ICU infections'. A total of 22 studies were retrieved, which included 177,260 people and compared clinical outcomes between 51,193 statin users and 126,067 non-statin users. Nineteen were cohort studies (seven prospective and 12 retrospective), two were retrospective case-control studies, and one was a randomized controlled study. Nine studies examined the use of statins in sepsis, four in community-acquired pneumonia (CAP), three in bacteraemia, and three in post-operative patients. Mortality data were presented in 15 studies; in ten, mortality was lower among statin users (three of six sepsis studies, five of six CAP studies, and two of three bacteraemia studies). In four studies, there was no difference in mortality (two of six sepsis studies, one of six CAP studies, and one of three bacteraemia studies) and in one study there was increased mortality among septic intensive-care unit patients receiving statins. Five of the nine studies that examined the risk of developing sepsis/infection as a primary outcome (six of nine sepsis studies and all studies in the postoperative setting) found a decreased risk among statin users, whereas the remaining studies found no difference. Irrespective of their design (matched vs. non-matched), the majority of the studies suggested that statins have a beneficial effect on the outcome of infection; however, their observational design does not allow us to draw firm conclusions. The clinical benefit of statin therapy in sepsis remains to be determined by ongoing randomized controlled trials.

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