Endotoxin adsorption using polymyxin B immobilized fiber cartridges in severe sepsis patients following cardiac surgery

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Sepsis still represents an obstacle in modern medicine. The purpose of this study was to evaluate the safety and effectiveness of selective lipopolysaccharide (LPS)-adsorption therapy using polymyxin B immobilized fiber cartridges in adult patients complicated with severe sepsis after cardiac surgery.


65 patients received extracorporeal LPS-adsorption procedures using Toraymyxin columns (PMX; Toray, Tokyo, Japan) in addition to the standard treatment according to the Surviving Sepsis Campaign guidelines. The inclusion criteria were clinical signs of severe sepsis, endotoxin activity assay (EAA) ≥0.6, and blood plasma procalcitonin (PCT) >2 ng/ml. For the control group, we selected 40 patients who were comparable with the study group but who received only the standard therapy.


Each patient received 2 standard LPS-adsorption procedures (lasting for 120 min each). After the LPS-adsorption course, we noted any indices of hemodynamic improvements, including an increase in mean arterial pressure from 73 to 89 mmHg (p<0.001), mean oxygenation index (213-265, p<0.001. We observed a decrease in LPS concentrations by the EAA (0.71-0.55, p<0.001) and by the LAL test (1.44-0.36 EU/ml, p<0.001). In the control group, there were no significant changes in any of the studied parameters. Moreover, the 28-day mortality was 42% in the study group and 65% in the control group (p = 0.032). The endotoxin adsorption procedures were not associated with any adverse reactions, and specifically, no extracorporeal circuit thrombosis cases were noted.


Selective LPS-adsorption is a safe and possibly effective adjunctive treatment method for severe sepsis patients.

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