Clinical impact of novel anticoagulation strategies in sepsis

S M Opal
Current Opinion in Critical Care 2001, 7 (5): 347-53
Derangements in coagulation and fibrinolysis are frequent complications of systemic infection, and septic shock is the most common recognized cause of disseminated intravascular coagulation. Anticoagulant therapy has been used as a treatment strategy for severe sepsis for several decades without compelling evidence of efficacy until the 2001 publication of the phase III trial with recombinant human activated protein C. Major phase III international trials with antithrombin and tissue factor pathway inhibitor also have been completed recently. The molecular mechanisms by which the clotting system interacts with the innate immune response have greatly facilitated the understanding of coagulation and the pathophysiology of septic shock. Anticoagulants such as recombinant human activated protein C and related agents may become the mainstay of adjuvant therapies for severe sepsis in the near future.

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