The pursuit of a high central venous oxygen saturation in sepsis: growing concerns

Crit Care. 2008;12(2):130. doi: 10.1186/cc6841. Epub 2008 Apr 7.


In this issue of Critical Care, Dutch investigators report that, in a cohort of patients with sepsis/septic shock admitted to three different intensive care units (ICUs), low central venous oxygen saturation (ScvO2) was uncommon at the time of ICU admission, and hospital mortality was <30%. Their findings, taken together with those of recent reports from Australia and New Zealand (ANZ), raise serious concerns about the utility of early goal directed therapy (EGDT) outside the context of the original trial. Despite inclusion of EGDT into the Surviving Sepsis Guidelines, in response to growing uncertainty, ANZ and US investigators will soon begin randomization of patients into two large multicentre trials comparing EGDT to standard therapy. Until such studies are completed, basing international treatment guidelines on a single centre study performed in what may turn out to be a highly atypical environment would seem premature.

Publication types

  • Comment

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Blood Gas Analysis / methods
  • Critical Illness*
  • Female
  • Hematocrit
  • Humans
  • Hydrogen-Ion Concentration
  • Incidence
  • Intensive Care Units*
  • Lactates / blood
  • Male
  • Netherlands
  • Observation
  • Oxygen / blood*
  • Prognosis
  • Shock, Septic / blood*


  • Lactates
  • Oxygen