Bench-to-bedside review: Developmental influences on the mechanisms, treatment and outcomes of cardiovascular dysfunction in neonatal versus adult sepsis

Wendy A. Luce, Timothy M. Hoffman, John Anthony Bauer

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

30 Scopus citations

Abstract

Sepsis is a significant cause of morbidity and mortality in neonates and adults, and the mortality rate doubles in patients who develop cardiovascular dysfunction and septic shock. Sepsis is especially devastating in the neonatal population, as it is one of the leading causes of death for hospitalized infants. In the neonate, there are multiple developmental alterations in both the response to pathogens and the response to treatment that distinguish this age group from adults. Differences in innate immunity and cytokine response may predispose neonates to the harmful effects of pro-inflammatory cytokines and oxidative stress, leading to severe organ dysfunction and sequelae during infection and inflammation. Underlying differences in cardiovascular anatomy, function and response to treatment may further alter the neonate's response to pathogen exposure. Unlike adults, little is known about the cardiovascular response to sepsis in the neonate. In addition, recent research has demonstrated that the mechanisms, inflammatory response, response to treatment and outcome of neonatal sepsis vary not only from that of adults, but vary among neonates based on gestational age. The goal of the present article is to review key pathophysiologic aspects of sepsis-related cardiovascular dysfunction, with an emphasis on defining known differences between adult and neonatal populations. Investigations of these relationships may ultimately lead to 'neonate-specific' therapeutic strategies for this devastating and costly medical problem.

Original languageEnglish
Article number228
JournalCritical Care
Volume11
Issue number5
DOIs
StatePublished - Sep 24 2007

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Critical Care and Intensive Care Medicine

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