Infection site is predictive of outcome in acute lung injury associated with severe sepsis and septic shock

Respirology. 2016 Jul;21(5):898-904. doi: 10.1111/resp.12769. Epub 2016 Mar 30.


Background and objective: Sepsis is a leading cause of acute lung injury (ALI); however, the characteristics and outcome of sepsis-associated ALI are poorly understood. We aimed to elucidate factors that predict patient outcome in sepsis-associated ALI.

Methods: Secondary analysis of a multicenter, prospective, observational study was performed.

Results: Among 624 patients with severe sepsis and septic shock, 251 (40.2%) fulfilled the definition of American-European Consensus Conference definition of ALI. All-cause 28-day and in-hospital mortalities were 30.7% and 38.6%, respectively. More than 40% of ALI patients had neurological, cardiovascular and haematological dysfunctions or disseminated intravascular coagulation, all of which were associated with higher mortality. We report a significant correlation between infection site and mortality in patients with ALI, but not in those without ALI. The proportion of ALI was significantly higher in pulmonary sepsis; further, a complication of ALI was associated with higher mortality in sepsis from pulmonary and other sources, but not in abdominal sepsis. Among the other sepsis sites, urinary tract, central nervous system, catheter-related and undetermined foci of infection had worse outcomes when associated with ALI. None of the individual severe sepsis bundles, including fluid resuscitation and early antibiotic administration, correlated with mortality. Compliance with a set of sepsis management bundles was associated with better outcomes.

Conclusion: In severe sepsis and septic shock, the proportion and effect on outcome was not uniform among infection sites. The infection site was predictive of outcome in patients with ALI but not in those without ALI.

Keywords: acute lung injury; acute respiratory distress syndrome; disseminated intravascular coagulation; multiple organ dysfunction syndrome; severe sepsis.

Publication types

  • Multicenter Study
  • Observational Study
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Acute Lung Injury* / diagnosis
  • Acute Lung Injury* / etiology
  • Acute Lung Injury* / mortality
  • Causality
  • Disease Management
  • Female
  • Focal Infection* / complications
  • Focal Infection* / diagnosis
  • Hospital Mortality
  • Humans
  • Japan / epidemiology
  • Lung Diseases* / complications
  • Lung Diseases* / diagnosis
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Multiple Organ Failure / etiology
  • Multiple Organ Failure / mortality
  • Outcome and Process Assessment, Health Care
  • Prognosis
  • Prospective Studies
  • Sepsis* / complications
  • Sepsis* / epidemiology
  • Sepsis* / therapy
  • Shock, Septic* / complications
  • Shock, Septic* / epidemiology
  • Shock, Septic* / therapy