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Previous studies have shown that inflammatory mediators can be removed from the circulation with hemofiltration and that adsorption plays an important role. Because adsorptive capacity of hollow-fiber dialyzers is limited, we sought to determine whether hemoadsorption using high surface area beads would result in greater mediator removal and improved survival in experimental sepsis.Randomized controlled laboratory experiment.University laboratory.Sixty-six adult Sprague-Dawley rats.We conducted two ex vivo and two in vivo experiments. For in vivo experiments, we administered Escherichia coli endotoxin (20 mg/kg) by intravenous infusion and then randomized each animal to receive either hemoadsorption or a sham circuit for 4 hrs. Hemoadsorption was performed for 4 hrs using an arterial-venous circuit and a CytoSorb cartridge containing 10 g of polystyrene divinyl benzene copolymer beads with a biocompatible polyvinylpyrrolidone coating. Survival time was measured to a maximum of 12 hrs. In a separate set of experiments, we studied 12 animals using the same protocol except that we killed all animals at 4 hrs and removed standardized sections of liver for analysis of nuclear factor-κB DNA binding.Mean survival time among hemoadsorption-treated animals was 629 ± 114 vs. 518 ± 120 mins for sham-treated animals (p < .01). Overall survival (defined at 12 hrs) was also significantly better in the hemoadsorption group, seven of 20 vs. one of 20 (p < .05). Plasma interleukin-6 and interleukin-10 concentrations and liver nuclear factor-κB DNA binding were significantly reduced by hemoadsorption. Ex vivo experiments showed no endotoxin adsorption but strengthened our in vivo observations by showing rapid adsorption of tumor necrosis factor, interleukin-6, and interleukin-10.Hemoadsorption was associated with reduced inflammation and improved survival in this murine model of septic shock.