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Chest. 1988 May;93(5):903-10.

Depressed left ventricular performance. Response to volume infusion in patients with sepsis and septic shock.

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  • 1Critical Care Medicine Department, National Institutes of Health, Bethesda 20892.


Volume infusion, to increase preload and to enhance ventricular performance, is accepted as initial management of septic shock. Recent evidence has demonstrated depressed myocardial function in human septic shock. We analyzed left ventricular performance during volume infusion using serial data from simultaneously obtained pulmonary artery catheter hemodynamic measurements and radionuclide cineangiography. Critically ill control subjects (n = 14), patients with sepsis but without shock (n = 21), and patients with septic shock (n = 21) had prevolume infusion hemodynamic measurements determined and received statistically similar volumes of fluid resulting in similar increases in pulmonary capillary wedge pressure. There was a strong trend (p = 0.004) toward less of a change in left ventricular stroke work index (LVSWI) after volume infusion in patients with sepsis and septic shock compared with control subjects. The LVSWI response after volume infusion was significantly less in patients with septic shock when compared with critically ill control subjects (p less than 0.05). These data demonstrate significantly altered ventricular performance, as measured by LVSWI, in response to volume infusion in patients with septic shock.

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