Email updates

Keep up to date with the latest news and content from Critical Care and BioMed Central.

This article is part of the supplement: First International Symposium on Intensive Care and Emergency Medicine for Latin America:

Meeting abstract

Severity stratification of septic shock according to noradrenaline requirement

G Hernández, A Bruhn, D Acuña, FJ Larrondo, R Martinez, S Medeiros, C Fierro, R De La Fuente, L Castillo and G Bugedo

Author Affiliations

Programa de Medicina Intensiva, Departamento de Anestesiología, Pontificia Universidad Católica de Chile, Santiago, Chile

For all author emails, please log on.

Critical Care 2001, 5(Suppl 3):P31  doi:10.1186/cc1364

The electronic version of this article is the complete one and can be found online at:

Published:26 June 2001



Septic shock (SS) is associated with 50% mortality. Severity is usually estimated from indexes of MODS, but hemodynamic dysfunction, despite its main role, has traditionally been underscored. The aim of this study was to test a severity classification for SS according to noradrenaline (NA) requirements.


An algorithm for hemodynamic treatment in SS, which established NA as the initial vasoactive drug (followed by dobutamine or adrenaline as required), was followed prospectively in all SS patients from December 1999 to August 2000. We evaluated APACHEII and SOFA scores, maximum values for C-reactive protein (CPR) and lactate, hemodynamic profiles, and renal, respiratory and hepatic dysfunction. Patients were classified in three groups according to the maximum NA requirement: mild, NA <0.1 μg/kg/min; moderate, NA 0.1-0.3 μg/kg/min; and severe, NA >0.3 μg/kg/min.


Results are expressed as mean ± SD (Table).


Noradrenaline requirement >0.3 μg/kg/min is associated with high mortality in SS. Based on these results, a new and strong criterium for severe septic shock is proposed. We also showed the feasibility of applying a predefined algorithm for hemodynamic treatment.