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1.  Septic acute kidney injury: hemodynamic syndrome, inflammatory disorder, or both? 
Critical Care  2011;15(6):1008.
Septic acute kidney injury (S-AKI) is the most common cause of kidney injury in the ICU. Decreased renal blood flow and inflammation have both been suggested as mechanisms of S-AKI. Benes and colleagues present a study of S-AKI in which sepsis is induced by fecal peritonitis and bacterial infusion. In this study, although decreased renal blood flow and increased renal vascular resistance were present in some of the animals that developed S-AKI, inflammatory activation without decreased renal blood flow and increased renal vascular resistance was seen in other animals. Systemic hemodynamic findings provided little information on renal hemodynamics or risk of S-AKI. The study highlights the extraordinary complexity of S-AKI and the need for clinicians to recognize our limited understanding of its pathogenesis and the weakness of the decreased perfusion paradigm as the sole explanation for the loss of renal function seen in severe sepsis.
doi:10.1186/cc10525
PMCID: PMC3388644  PMID: 22112533
2.  Near infrared spectroscopy (NIRS) of the thenar eminence in anesthesia and intensive care 
Near infrared spectroscopy of the thenar eminence (NIRSth) is a noninvasive bedside method for assessing tissue oxygenation. The NIRS probe emits light with several wavelengths in the 700- to 850-nm interval and measures the reflected light mainly from a predefined depth. Complex physical models then allow the measurement of the relative concentrations of oxy and deoxyhemoglobin, and thus tissue saturation (StO2), as well as an approximation of the tissue hemoglobin, given as tissue hemoglobin index.
Here we review of current knowledge of the application of NIRSth in anesthesia and intensive care.
We performed an analytical and descriptive review of the literature using the terms “near-infrared spectroscopy” combined with “anesthesia,” “anesthesiology,” “intensive care,” “critical care,” “sepsis,” “bleeding,” “hemorrhage,” “surgery,” and “trauma” with particular focus on all NIRS studies involving measurement at the thenar eminence.
We found that NIRSth has been applied as clinical research tool to perform both static and dynamic assessment of StO2. Specifically, a vascular occlusion test (VOT) with a pressure cuff can be used to provide a dynamic assessment of the tissue oxygenation response to ischemia. StO2 changes during such induced ischemia-reperfusion yield information on oxygen consumption and microvasculatory reactivity. Some evidence suggests that StO2 during VOT can detect fluid responsiveness during surgery. In hypovolemic shock, StO2 can help to predict outcome, but not in septic shock. In contrast, NIRS parameters during VOT increase the diagnostic and prognostic accuracy in both hypovolemic and septic shock. Minimal data are available on static or dynamic StO2 used to guide therapy.
Although the available data are promising, further studies are necessary before NIRSth can become part of routine clinical practice.
doi:10.1186/2110-5820-2-11
PMCID: PMC3488540  PMID: 22569165
4.  Endotoxin neutralization and anti-inflammatory effects of tobramycin and ceftazidime in porcine endotoxin shock 
Critical Care  2003;8(1):R35-R41.
Introduction
Antibiotics used for treatment of severe bacterial infections have been shown to exert effects on the inflammatory response in addition to their antibacterial effects. The aim of the present study was to investigate whether the biological effects of endotoxin in a porcine model could be neutralized by tobramycin, and whether tobramycin or ceftazidime was able to modulate the inflammatory response.
Method
Thirteen piglets were subjected to endotoxin infusion at an initial rate of 4 μg/kg per hour, which was reduced to 1 μg/kg per hour after 30 min. Before endotoxin infusion, the animals received saline (n = 4), ceftazidime (n = 5), or tobramycin (n = 4) at clinically relevant doses. Physiological parameters were measured and blood samples were taken hourly for 6 hours for analysis of tumour necrosis factor-α, IL-6 and endotoxin concentrations.
Results
All of the animals exhibited physiological signs of severe sepsis without major differences between the groups. Plasma endotoxin concentration was stable after 1 hour. There were no differences in endotoxin concentration or initial tumour necrosis factor-α and IL-6 concentrations between the groups. At 6 hours the IL-6 concentration was significantly lower in the ceftazidime group than in the saline group (P < 0.05), and in both the ceftazidime and the tobramycin groups there were significantly greater reductions from peak values (P < 0.05).
Conclusion
There was no neutralization of the biological effects of endotoxin in this porcine model. However, our data indicate a possible anti-inflammatory effect exerted by both ceftazidime and tobramycin, which manifested as a significantly greater reduction in IL-6 in comparison with the untreated group.
doi:10.1186/cc2415
PMCID: PMC420063  PMID: 14975053
ceftazidime; endotoxin; IL-6; sepsis; tobramycin

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