What is the role of immunosuppression in the treatment multiple organ dysfunction syndrome (MODS) in sepsis?

Updated: Jan 27, 2020
  • Author: Ali H Al-Khafaji, MD, MPH, FACP, FCCP, FCCM; Chief Editor: Michael R Pinsky, MD, CM, Dr(HC), FCCP, FAPS, MCCM  more...
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The pathogenesis of septic shock and MODS derives from mediators produced because of the immune response of the host. Despite encouraging data from animal studies, immunosuppressive agents, such as high-dose corticosteroids, have not shown any benefit in humans.

The Surviving Sepsis Campaign recommends that glucose levels in the septic patient should be kept at less than 150 mg/dL.

Research has focused on modifying the host response to sepsis via a number of approaches, including the following:

  • Antibodies against gram-negative endotoxin

  • Gamma globulins

  • Monoclonal antibodies against tumor necrosis factor

  • Blockade of eicosanoid production

  • Blockade of interleukin (IL)–1 activity

  • Inhibition of nitric oxide (NO) synthase

These approaches have met with modest success in animal experiments, but at present, they cannot be recommended for general use in humans.

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