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Polymyxin B Hemoperfusion Beneficial in Sepsis

Last Updated: June 16, 2009.

In patients with severe sepsis or septic shock, an antibiotic-based "hemoperfusion" device to remove toxic products of bacteria from the blood, in addition to conventional treatment may reduce the risk of death, according to a study published in the June 17 issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association.

TUESDAY, June 16 (HealthDay News) -- In patients with severe sepsis or septic shock, an antibiotic-based "hemoperfusion" device to remove toxic products of bacteria from the blood, in addition to conventional treatment may reduce the risk of death, according to a study published in the June 17 issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association.

Dinna N. Cruz, M.D., of St. Bortolo Hospital in Vicenza, Italy, and colleagues from the Early Use of Polymyxin B Hemoperfusion in Abdominal Sepsis trial randomly assigned 64 patients to receive either conventional therapy or conventional therapy plus two sessions of polymyxin B hemoperfusion.

The researchers found that 28-day mortality was significantly lower in the combination-therapy group (32 versus 53 percent). They also found the combination therapy was associated with improved hospital survival, blood pressure, vasopressor requirement, and degree of organ failure.

"This preliminary study is valuable as an example of 'New Yorkers' testing a Japanese intervention," state the authors of an accompanying editorial. "This kind of cross-community validation is refreshing and necessary but unfortunately only too rare. The results, although preliminary, suggest a number of interesting hypotheses and should provoke further study. This is essential given the significant ongoing problem that sepsis represents."

An author of the editorial reported relationships with several pharmaceutical companies.

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