Monitoring coherence between the macro and microcirculation in septic shock

Jan Bakker, Can Ince
Current Opinion in Critical Care 2020, 26 (3): 267-272

PURPOSE OF REVIEW: Currently, the treatment of patients with shock is focused on the clinical symptoms of shock. In the early phase, this is usually limited to heart rate, blood pressure, lactate levels and urine output. However, as the ultimate goal of resuscitation is the improvement in microcirculatory perfusion the question is whether these currently used signs of shock and the improvement in these signs actually correspond to the changes in the microcirculation.

RECENT FINDINGS: Recent studies have shown that during the development of shock the deterioration in the macrocirculatory parameters are followed by the deterioration of microcirculatory perfusion. However, in many cases the restoration of adequate macrocirculatory parameters is frequently not associated with improvement in microcirculatory perfusion. This relates not only to the cause of shock, where there are some differences between different forms of shock, but also to the type of treatment.

SUMMARY: The improvement in macrohemodynamics during the resuscitation is not consistently followed by subsequent changes in the microcirculation. This may result in both over-resuscitation and under-resuscitation leading to increased morbidity and mortality. In this article the principles of coherence and the monitoring of the microcirculation are reviewed.

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