Is there NO treatment for severe sepsis?
Sepsis is a systemic inflammatory response syndrome in the presence of suspected or proven infection, and it may progress to or encompass organ failure (severe sepsis) and hypotension (septic shock). Clinicians possess an arsenal of supportive measures to combat severe sepsis and septic shock, and some success, albeit controversial, has been achieved by using low doses of corticosteroids or recombinant human activated protein C. However, a truly effective mediator-directed specific treatment has not been developed yet. Treatment with low doses of corticosteroids or with recombinant human activated protein C remains controversial and its success very limited. Attempts to treat shock by blocking LPS, TNF or IL-1 were unsuccessful, as were attempts to use interferon-gamma or granulocyte colony stimulating factor. Inhibiting nitric oxide synthases held promise but met with considerable difficulties. Scavenging excess nitric oxide or targeting molecules downstream of inducible nitric oxide synthase, such as soluble guanylate cyclase or potassium channels, might offer other alternatives.