Echocardiographic features, mortality, and adrenal function in patients with cirrhosis and septic shock

S. Thierry, E. Giroux Leprieur, L. Lecuyer, E. Brocas, A. Van De Louw

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17 Scopus citations


Objectives: Cirrhosis of the liver is associated with an increased susceptibility to bacterial infections capable of causing septic shock and with a basal hyperdynamic circulatory state. The primary objective of this study was to delineate the echocardiographic characteristics and outcomes of septic shock in patients with liver cirrhosis. The secondary objective was to determine whether adrenal insufficiency, which may contribute to hyperdynamic syndrome, was more marked in patients with cirrhosis than in other patients with septic shock. Design: Prospective single-center cohort study. Patients and methods: Thirty-four patients admitted to the intensive care unit (ICU) for septic shocks were included, 14 with and 20 without liver cirrhosis. Echocardiography was performed within the first 24 h to measure the cardiac index (CI), systolic index (SI), and left ventricular ejection fraction (LVEF). A Synacthen test was performed. Results: Patients with cirrhosis had higher values for the CI (3.69±1.0 vs. 2.86±0.8 l/min/m2; P=0.02), SI (37.5±8 vs. 32.4±7 ml/m2; P=0.04), and LVEF (67±7 vs. 55.9±12%; P=0.005). ICU mortality was 53% overall, 64% in patients with cirrhosis, and 45% in patients without cirrhosis (P=0.27). Serum cortisol levels under basal conditions (H0) and after stimulation (H1) showed no significant differences between patients with and without cirrhosis. The proportion of patients with no response to Synacthen was 77% among patients with cirrhosis and 50% among patients without cirrhosis (P=0.18). Conclusion: In a population with septic shock, left ventricular function was more hyperdynamic in the subset with cirrhosis. Relative adrenal insufficiency occurred in similar proportions of patients with and without cirrhosis.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)45-51
Number of pages7
JournalActa Anaesthesiologica Scandinavica
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 2008

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Anesthesiology and Pain Medicine


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