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Eight patients with severe sepsis, four with septic shock, and eight without sepsis were studied to investigate whether skeletal muscle influences the whole body O2 consumption (VO2)-O2 delivery relationship and hemodynamics. A forearm VO2-O2 delivery dependency was observed only in nonseptic patients, in whom no whole body VO2-O2 delivery dependency appeared. No forearm VO2-O2 delivery relationship was observed in septic and shock patients, in whom whole body VO2-O2 delivery dependency was found. In shock patients the lack of forearm VO2-O2 delivery dependency was associated with low forearm arteriolar resistance (FAR) even at a relatively low forearm blood flow (FBF). Neither a relationship between forearm VO2 and whole body VO2 nor between FAR and SVR was found in any groups of patients. Septic shock was associated with low FAR that was not affected by the FBF decrease, indicating that in this condition, hemodynamics could be influenced by skeletal muscle resistance.