Objectives: To address the impact of underlying immune conditions on the course of septic shock with respect to both mortality and the development of acute infectious and noninfectious complications.
Design: An 8-year (2008-2015) monocenter retrospective study.
Setting: A medical ICU in a tertiary care center.
Patients: Patients diagnosed for septic shock within the first 48 hours of ICU admission were included. Patients were classified in four subgroups with respect to their immune status: nonimmunocompromised and immunocompromised distributed into hematologic or solid malignancies and nonmalignant immunosuppression. Outcomes were in-hospital death and the development of ischemic and hemorrhagic complications and ICU-acquired infections. The determinants of death and complications were addressed by multivariate competing risk analysis.
Measurements and Main Results: Eight hundred one patients were included. Among them, 305 (38%) were immunocompromised, distributed into solid tumors (122), hematologic malignancies (106), and nonmalignant immunosuppression (77). The overall 3-day, in-ICU, and in-hospital mortality rates were 14.1%, 37.3%, and 41.3%, respectively. Patients with solid tumors displayed increased in-hospital mortality (cause-specific hazard, 2.20 [95% CI, 1.64-2.96]; p < 0.001). ICU-acquired infections occurred in 211 of the 3-day survivors (33%). In addition, 95 (11.8%) and 70 (8.7%) patients exhibited severe ischemic or hemorrhagic complications during the ICU stay. There was no association between the immune status and the occurrence of ICU-acquired infections. Nonmalignant immunosuppression and hematologic malignancies were independently associated with increased risks of severe ischemic events (cause-specific hazard, 2.12 [1.14-3.96]; p = 0.02) and hemorrhage (cause-specific hazard, 3.17 [1.41-7.13]; p = 0.005), respectively.
Conclusions: The underlying immune status impacts on the course of septic shock and on the susceptibility to ICU-acquired complications. This emphasizes the complexity of sepsis syndromes in relation with comorbid conditions and raises the question of the relevant endpoints in clinical studies.
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