Practice parameters for hemodynamic support of sepsis in adult patients: 2004 update

Crit Care Med. 2004 Sep;32(9):1928-48. doi: 10.1097/01.ccm.0000139761.05492.d6.


Objective: To provide the American College of Critical Care Medicine with updated guidelines for hemodynamic support of adult patients with sepsis.

Data source: Publications relevant to hemodynamic support of septic patients were obtained from the medical literature, supplemented by the expertise and experience of members of an international task force convened from the membership of the Society of Critical Care Medicine.

Study selection: Both human studies and relevant animal studies were considered.

Data synthesis: The experts articles reviewed the literature and classified the strength of evidence of human studies according to study design and scientific value. Recommendations were drafted and graded levels based on an evidence-based rating system described in the text. The recommendations were debated, and the task force chairman modified the document until <10% of the experts disagreed with the recommendations.

Conclusions: An organized approach to the hemodynamic support of sepsis was formulated. The fundamental principle is that clinicians using hemodynamic therapies should define specific goals and end points, titrate therapies to those end points, and evaluate the results of their interventions on an ongoing basis by monitoring a combination of variables of global and regional perfusion. Using this approach, specific recommendations for fluid resuscitation, vasopressor therapy, and inotropic therapy of septic in adult patients were promulgated.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Algorithms
  • Cardiotonic Agents / adverse effects
  • Cardiotonic Agents / therapeutic use*
  • Environmental Monitoring / methods
  • Fluid Therapy / adverse effects
  • Fluid Therapy / methods*
  • Hemodynamics
  • Humans
  • Practice Guidelines as Topic
  • Shock, Septic / diagnosis
  • Shock, Septic / therapy*
  • Vasoconstrictor Agents / adverse effects
  • Vasoconstrictor Agents / therapeutic use*


  • Cardiotonic Agents
  • Vasoconstrictor Agents