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Int J Urol. 2013 Oct;20(10):963-70. doi: 10.1111/iju.12200. Epub 2013 May 29.

Diagnosis and management for urosepsis.

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Clinic of Urology, Pediatric Urology and Andrology, Justus-Liebig-University Gießen, Giessen, Germany.


Urosepsis is defined as sepsis caused by a urogenital tract infection. Urosepsis in adults comprises approximately 25% of all sepsis cases, and is in most cases due to complicated urinary tract infections. The urinary tract is the infection site of severe sepsis or septic shock in approximately 10-30% of cases. Severe sepsis and septic shock is a critical situation, with a reported mortality rate nowadays still ranging from 30% to 40%. Urosepsis is mainly a result of obstructed uropathy of the upper urinary tract, with ureterolithiasis being the most common cause. The complex pathogenesis of sepsis is initiated when pathogen or damage-associated molecular patterns recognized by pattern recognition receptors of the host innate immune system generate pro-inflammatory cytokines. A transition from the innate to the adaptive immune system follows until a T(H2) anti-inflammatory response takes over, leading to immunosuppression. Treatment of urosepsis comprises four major aspects: (i) early diagnosis; (ii) early goal-directed therapy including optimal pharmacodynamic exposure to antimicrobials both in the plasma and in the urinary tract; (iii) identification and control of the complicating factor in the urinary tract; and (iv) specific sepsis therapy. Early adequate tissue oxygenation, adequate initial antibiotic therapy, and rapid identification and control of the septic focus in the urinary tract are critical steps in the successful management of a patient with urosepsis, which includes early imaging, and an optimal interdisciplinary approach encompassing emergency unit, urological and intensive-care medicine specialists.


sepsis therapy; systemic inflammatory response syndrome; urinary tract infections; urosepsis

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