Systemic inflammatory response syndrome (SIRS), multiple organ dysfunction syndrome (MODS), multiple organ failure (MOF): are we winning the battle?

Shock. 1998 Aug;10(2):79-89. doi: 10.1097/00024382-199808000-00001.


The problems of inflammation and infection leading to organ dysfunction and failure continue to be the major problems after injury and operations and with intensive care for many diseases and problems. When SIRS goes to MODS and MOF, the mortality becomes high, ranging from 30-80% depending on the number of failed organs. In spite of this, there have been recent exciting discoveries and contributions to patient care. A reasonable question then is, are we making progress and if so, can we document it? Are the incidence and mortality of MOF decreasing? The literature comparing care over some years suggests a decrease in ICU mortality in patients with severe organ failure, a decrease in elective surgical mortality, and improvement in the results of care and outcome for trauma patients. Review of problems occurring in sick and injured patients indicates that certain problems are decreasing in frequency, such as renal failure and ARDS after trauma, stress gastrointestinal bleeding, and abdominal abscesses, and these should improve outcome. There are a number of exciting therapies that help certain patients but not everyone. These controversies challenge us to focus on where and when there are positive benefits. Risk factors for MOF are addressed to focus on early intervention. The possibilities of multiple therapeutic agents are described. Finally, we describe and emphasize our recommendation to strive to prevent MODS and SIRS.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Documentation
  • Enteral Nutrition
  • Humans
  • Incidence
  • Multiple Organ Failure / epidemiology
  • Multiple Organ Failure / mortality
  • Multiple Organ Failure / therapy*
  • Postoperative Complications / epidemiology
  • Postoperative Complications / mortality
  • Postoperative Complications / therapy
  • Risk Factors
  • Systemic Inflammatory Response Syndrome / epidemiology
  • Systemic Inflammatory Response Syndrome / mortality
  • Systemic Inflammatory Response Syndrome / therapy*