The effects of physical therapy with neuromuscular electrical stimulation in patients with septic shock: Study protocol for a randomized cross-over design

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Introduction:Septic shock is a potentially fatal organ dysfunction caused by an imbalance of the host response to infection. The changes in microcirculation during sepsis can be explained by the alterations in the endothelial barrier function. Endothelial progenitor cells (EPCs) are a potential recovery index of endothelial function and it an increase in response to neuromuscular electrical stimulation (NMES) was demonstrated. Therefore, the objective of this study is to investigate the effects of NMES in patients with septic shock.Methods and analysis:It is a study protocol for a randomized cross-over design in an intensive care unit of a tertiary University hospital. Thirty-one patients aged 18 to 65 years. The study will be divided in 2 phases: the phase one will be held in the first 72 hours of septic shock and the phase two after 3 days of first assessment. Patients will be randomly selected to the intervention protocol (decubitus position with the limbs raised and NMES) and control protocol (decubitus position with the limbs raised without NMES). After this procedure, the patients will be allocated in group 1 (intervention and control protocol) or group 2 (control and intervention protocol) with a wash-out period of 4 to 6 hours between them. The main outcome is mobilization of EPCs. The secondary outcome is metabolic and hemodynamic data. A linear mixed model will be used for analysis of dependent variables and estimated values of the mean of the differences of each effect.

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