1. Sepsis is the leading reversible cause of death in patients requiring modern intensive care services.
2. In this group of patients, death usually results from progressive multiple organ failure, rather than overwhelming primary infection.
3. The pathophysiology of sepsis-induced remote organ dysfunction is incompletely understood, although it is believed to result from a systemic inflammatory process that causes tissue injury in the absence of septic shock.
4. As septic shock is the most common early manifestation of severe sepsis, an understanding of mechanisms of myocardial dysfunction is of clinical relevance. In the present review, we will discuss mechanisms of remote organ failure in sepsis, focusing in particular on the pathogenesis of myocardial dysfunction.