Judging quality of current septic shock definitions and criteria

Manu Shankar-Hari, Guido Bertolini, Frank M. Brunkhorst, Rinaldo Bellomo, Djillali Annane, Clifford S. Deutschman, Mervyn Singer

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Septic shock definitions are being revisited. We assess the feasibility, reliability, and validity characteristics of the current definitions and criteria of septic shock. Septic shock is conceptualised as cardiovascular dysfunction, tissue perfusion and cellular abnormalities caused by infection. Currently, for feasibility, septic shock is identified at the bedside by using either hypotension or a proxy for tissue perfusion/cellular abnormalities (e.g., hyperlactatemia). We propose that concurrent presence of cardiovascular dysfunction and perfusion/cellular abnormalities could improve validity of septic shock diagnosis, as we are more likely to identify a patient population with all elements of the illness concept. This epidemiological refinement should not affect clinical care and may aid study design to identify illness-specific biomarkers and interventions.

Original languageEnglish
Article number445
JournalCritical Care
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Dec 25 2015

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Critical Care and Intensive Care Medicine


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