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Title: Absolute and relative adrenal insufficiency in children with septic shock
Authors: Pizarro, C. F.
Troster, E. J.
Damiani, D.
Carcillo, J. A.
Universidade Federal de São Paulo (UNIFESP)
Keywords: septic shock
adrenal insufficiency
Issue Date: 1-Apr-2005
Publisher: Lippincott Williams & Wilkins
Citation: Critical Care Medicine. Philadelphia: Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, v. 33, n. 4, p. 855-859, 2005.
Abstract: Objective: Corticosteroid replacement improves outcome in adults with relative adrenal insufficiency and catecholamine-resistant septic shock. We evaluated the relationship of absolute and relative adrenal insufficiency to catecholamine-resistant septic shock in children.Design. Prospective cohort study.Setting. University hospital pediatric intensive care unit in Brazil.Patients. Fifty-seven children with septic shock. Children with HIV infection, those with a history of adrenal insufficiency, and those submitted to any steroid therapy or etomidate within the week before diagnosis of septic shock were excluded.Interventions: None.Measurements and Main Results., A short corticotropin test (250 mu g) was performed, and cortisol levels were measured at baseline and 30 and 60 mins posttest. Adrenal insufficiency was defined by a response <= 9 mu g/dL. Absolute adrenal insufficiency was further defined by a baseline cortisol < 20 mu g/dL and relative adrenal insufficiency by a baseline cortisol > 20 mu g/dL. Absolute adrenal insufficiency was observed in 18% of children, all of whom had catecholamine-resistant shock. Relative adrenal insufficiency was observed in 26% of children, of whom 80% had catecholamine-resistant and 20% had dopamine/dobutamine-responsive shock. All children with fluid-responsive shock had a cortisol response > 9 mu g/dL. Children with adrenal insufficiency had an increased risk of catecholamine-resistant shock (relative risk, 1.88; 95% confidence interval, 1.26-2.79). However, mortality was independently predicted by chronic illness or multiple organ failure (p <.05), not adrenal insufficiency.Conclusions: Absolute and relative adrenal insufficiency is common in children with catecholamine-resistant shock and absent in children with fluid-responsive shock. Studies are warranted to determine whether corticosterold therapy has a survival benefit in children with relative adrenal insufficiency and catecholamine-resistant septic shock.
ISSN: 0090-3493
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