Newly Published
Critical Care Medicine  |   June 2019
Blood Purification and Mortality in Sepsis and Septic Shock: A Systematic Review and Meta-analysis of Randomized Trials
Author Notes
  • From the Division of Anesthesiology, Department of Anesthesiology, Pharmacology, Intensive Care, and Emergency Medicine, Geneva University Hospitals, Geneva, Switzerland (A.P., R.S.); the Hospital Universitari de Bellvitge, Intensive Care Department, and the Biomedical Investigation Institute of Bellvitge, L’Hospitalet de Llobregat, Barcelona, Spain (J.C.L.-D.); the Department of Cardiovascular Anesthesia and Intensive Care, Cardiocentro Ticino, Lugano, Switzerland (T.C.); the Department of Anaesthesia and Intensive Care, San Raffaele Scientific Institute, Milan, Italy (G.L.); and Vita-Salute San Raffaele University, Milan, Italy (G.L.).
  • Supplemental Digital Content is available for this article. Direct URL citations appear in the printed text and are available in both the HTML and PDF versions of this article. Links to the digital files are provided in the HTML text of this article on the Journal’s Web site (www.anesthesiology.org).
    Supplemental Digital Content is available for this article. Direct URL citations appear in the printed text and are available in both the HTML and PDF versions of this article. Links to the digital files are provided in the HTML text of this article on the Journal’s Web site (www.anesthesiology.org).×
  • Submitted for publication September 26, 2018. Accepted for publication April 23, 2019 .
    Submitted for publication September 26, 2018. Accepted for publication April 23, 2019 .×
  • Correspondence: Address correspondence to Dr. Landoni: Department of Cardiothoracic Anaesthesia and Intensive Care, Ospedale San Raffaele, Via Olgettina 60, Milano, 20132 Italy. landoni.giovanni@hsr.it. Information on purchasing reprints may be found at www.anesthesiology.org or on the masthead page at the beginning of this issue. Anesthesiology’s articles are made freely accessible to all readers, for personal use only, 6 months from the cover date of the issue.
Article Information
Critical Care Medicine / Critical Care / Infectious Disease
Critical Care Medicine   |   June 2019
Blood Purification and Mortality in Sepsis and Septic Shock: A Systematic Review and Meta-analysis of Randomized Trials
Anesthesiology Newly Published on June 24, 2019. doi:10.1097/ALN.0000000000002820
Anesthesiology Newly Published on June 24, 2019. doi:10.1097/ALN.0000000000002820
Abstract

Editor’s Perspective:

What We Already Know about This Topic:

  • Among patients with sepsis or septic shock, a variety of extracorporeal blood purification techniques are available

  • Individual existing trials evaluating these options are underpowered to provide clear evidence

What This Paper Tells Us That Is New:

  • Meta-analysis of very low-quality randomized controlled trial evidence demonstrates a potential benefit of hemoperfusion, hemofiltration, or plasmapheresis

  • Additional high-quality trials demonstrating benefit in modern clinical practice are needed before recommending these therapies

Background: Sepsis and septic shock are severe inflammatory conditions related to high morbidity and mortality. We performed a systematic review with meta-analysis of randomized trials to assess whether extracorporeal blood purification reduces mortality in this setting.

Methods: Electronic databases were searched for pertinent studies up to January 2019. We included randomized controlled trials on the use of hemoperfusion, hemofiltration without a renal replacement purpose, and plasmapheresis as a blood purification technique in comparison to conventional therapy in adult patients with sepsis and septic shock. The primary outcome was mortality at the longest follow-up available. We calculated relative risks and 95% CIs. The grading of recommendations assessment, development and evaluation methodology for the certainty of evidence was used.

Results: Thirty-seven trials with 2,499 patients were included in the meta-analysis. Hemoperfusion was associated with lower mortality compared to conventional therapy (relative risk = 0.88 [95% CI, 0.78 to 0.98], P = 0.02, very low certainty evidence). Low risk of bias trials on polymyxin B immobilized filter hemoperfusion showed no mortality difference versus control (relative risk = 1.14 [95% CI, 0.96 to 1.36], P = 0.12, moderate certainty evidence), while recent trials found an increased mortality (relative risk = 1.22 [95% CI, 1.03 to 1.45], P = 0.02, low certainty evidence); trials performed in the United States and Europe had no significant difference in mortality (relative risk = 1.13 [95% CI, 0.96 to 1.34], P = 0.15), while trials performed in Asia had a positive treatment effect (relative risk = 0.57 [95% CI, 0.47 to 0.69], P < 0.001). Hemofiltration (relative risk = 0.79 [95% CI, 0.63 to 1.00], P = 0.05, very low certainty evidence) and plasmapheresis (relative risk = 0.63 [95% CI, 0.42 to 0.96], P = 0.03, very low certainty evidence) were associated with a lower mortality.

Conclusions: Very low-quality randomized evidence demonstrates that the use of hemoperfusion, hemofiltration, or plasmapheresis may reduce mortality in sepsis or septic shock. Existing evidence of moderate quality and certainty does not provide any support for a difference in mortality using polymyxin B hemoperfusion. Further high-quality randomized trials are needed before systematic implementation of these therapies in clinical practice.