Benefit of low-dose aspirin and non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs in septic patients
© BioMed Central Ltd 2013
Published: 8 January 2013
Analyzing medical records of 979 patients with severe sepsis or septic shock provided some evidence that the use of low-dose aspirin or non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) was associated with decreased hospital mortality. However, the benefit was abolished when aspirin and NSAIDs were given together.
Various retrospective clinical studies have shown that pre- and in-hospital use of low-dose aspirin was associated with a reduced mortality [1–4], but there is no evidence that NSAIDs may have a similar benefit [1, 5]. We studied the medical records of 979 patients with severe sepsis or septic shock who were admitted to a university hospital surgical intensive care unit (ICU). Exclusion criteria were ICU stay of less than 48 hours, age of more than 18 years, and pregnancy. The study was approved by the local ethics committee. Investigators were not required to ask patients for informed consent.
Characteristics of the patients included in the study
Number of patients
APACHE II scoreb
Length of stay in ICU, daysb
Hospital mortality, percentage
The data of the present study indicate that, given separately, both aspirin and NSAIDs may reduce mortality in patients with sepsis. The interaction between aspirin and NSAIDs needs to be considered in forthcoming trials looking for benefits of either compound in patients with sepsis. We speculate that the lack of benefit of parallel use of aspirin and NSAIDs is due to a higher bleeding risk or anti-inflammatory action or both.
- APACHE II:
Acute Physiology and Chronic Health Evaluation II
intensive care unit
non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drug
This study was supported by the German Federal Ministry of Education and Research within the 'Center for Sepsis Control and Care'.
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