Human recombinant activated protein C for severe sepsis

Arturo J Martí-Carvajal, Ivan Solà, Dimitrios Lathyris, Andrés Felipe Cardona
Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews 2011, (4): CD004388

BACKGROUND: Sepsis is a common and frequently fatal condition. Human recombinant activated protein C (APC) has been used to reduce the high rate of death by severe sepsis or septic shock. This is an update of a Cochrane review (originally published in 2007 and updated in 2008).

OBJECTIVES: We assessed the clinical effectiveness and safety of APC for the treatment of patients with severe sepsis or septic shock.

SEARCH STRATEGY: For this updated review we searched CENTRAL (The Cochrane Library 2010, Issue 6); MEDLINE (1966 to June 2010); EMBASE (1980 to July 1, 2010); BIOSIS (1965 to July 1, 2010); CINAHL (1982 to 16 June 2010) and LILACS (1982 to 16 June 2010). There was no language restriction.

SELECTION CRITERIA: We included randomized controlled trials (RCTs) assessing the effects of APC for severe sepsis in adults and children. We excluded studies on neonates. We considered all-cause mortality at day 28, at the end of study follow up, and hospital mortality as the primary outcomes.

DATA COLLECTION AND ANALYSIS: We independently performed study selection, risk of bias assessment and data extraction. We estimated relative risks (RR) for dichotomous outcomes. We measured statistical heterogeneity using the I(2) statistic. We used a random-effects model.

MAIN RESULTS: We identified one new RCT in this update. We included a total of five RCTs involving 5101 participants. For 28-day mortality, APC did not reduce the risk of death in adult participants with severe sepsis (pooled RR 0.97, 95% confidence interval (CI) 0.78 to 1.22; P = 0.82, I(2) = 68%). APC use was associated with an increased risk of bleeding (RR 1.47, 95% CI 1.09 to 2.00; P = 0.01, I(2) = 0%). In paediatric patients, APC did not reduce the risk of death (RR 0.98, 95% CI 0.66 to 1.46; P = 0.93). Although the included trials had no major limitations most of them modified their original completion or recruitment protocols.

AUTHORS' CONCLUSIONS: This updated review found no evidence suggesting that APC should be used for treating patients with severe sepsis or septic shock. Additionally, APC is associated with a higher risk of bleeding. Unless additional RCTs provide evidence of a treatment effect, policy-makers, clinicians and academics should not promote the use of APC.

Full Text Links

Find Full Text Links for this Article


You are not logged in. Sign Up or Log In to join the discussion.

Related Papers

Remove bar
Read by QxMD icon Read

Save your favorite articles in one place with a free QxMD account.


Search Tips

Use Boolean operators: AND/OR

diabetic AND foot
diabetes OR diabetic

Exclude a word using the 'minus' sign

Virchow -triad

Use Parentheses

water AND (cup OR glass)

Add an asterisk (*) at end of a word to include word stems

Neuro* will search for Neurology, Neuroscientist, Neurological, and so on

Use quotes to search for an exact phrase

"primary prevention of cancer"
(heart or cardiac or cardio*) AND arrest -"American Heart Association"