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To evaluate the actual incidence of global left ventricular hypokinesia in septic shock.All mechanically ventilated patients treated for an episode of septic shock in our unit were studied by transesophageal echocardiography, at least once a day, during the first 3 days of hemodynamic support. In patients who recovered, echocardiography was repeated after weaning from vasoactive agents. Main measurements were obtained from the software of the apparatus. Global left ventricular hypokinesia was defined as a left ventricular ejection fraction of <45%.During a 3-yr period (January 2004 through December 2006), 67 patients free from previous cardiac disease, and who survived for >48 hrs, were repeatedly studied. Global left ventricular hypokinesia was observed in 26 of these 67 patients at admission (primary hypokinesia) and in 14 after 24 or 48 hrs of hemodynamic support by norepinephrine (secondary hypokinesia), leading to an overall hypokinesia rate of 60%. Left ventricular hypokinesia was partially corrected by dobutamine, added to a reduced dosage of norepinephrine, or by epinephrine. This reversible acute left ventricular dysfunction was not associated with a worse prognosis.Global left ventricular hypokinesia is very frequent in adult septic shock and could be unmasked, in some patients, by norepinephrine treatment. Left ventricular hypokinesia is usually corrected by addition of an inotropic agent to the hemodynamic support.