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Diagnostic determinants for capillary leakage syndrome (CLS) in septic shock patients


CLS is a frequent complication in sepsis characterized by loss of intravasal fluids leading to generalized edema and hypotension. Despite the importance there are still no standardized diagnostic criteria available for CLS. The aim of this study was to evaluate diagnostic determinants for CLS.


Prospective clinical study.


The study was performed in 4 patients with septic shock (SOFA-Score = 12 ± 2), multiple organ failure and CLS compared to 4 control patients. CLS was judged clinically by generalized edema, positive fluid balance and weight gain. Plasma volume by indocyanin green (PVICG), red blood cell volume by tagged chromium-51 (RBC:51Cr), extracellular fluid volume (ECF) calculated by inulin space technique and colloid osmotic pressure (COP) were measured before (T0 = 0 min) and after (T1 = 90 min) administration of 300 ml of albumin 20%. Measurement of total body water (TBV) and the phase angle (phi, degrees), a global parameter of the body composition were performed using bioelectrical impedance analysis (BIA).


PVICG was measured in CLS patients with 45.9 ± 14.6 ml/kg/ total body weight (BW) and in controls with 67.8 ± 15.2 ml/kg/BW. The RBC:51Cr averaged 20.2 ± 1.3 ml/kg/BW in CLS patients and in the controls 24.4 ± 3.7 ml/kg/BW. ECF was expanded in CLS patients compared to controls (45.1 ± 8.5%BW vs. 29.5 ± 6.7%BW; P < 0.05). Increase of COP level at T2 in CLS patients was smaller than in the control patients (1.1 ± 0.4 mmHg vs. 2.4 ± 1.0 mmHg; P < 0.05). Phi was low in CLS patients (2.1 ± 0.8° vs. 4.8 ± 1.2°; P < 0.05) and TBV was elevated compared to controls (76.5 ± 12.0 kg vs. 55.7 ± 3.8 kg; P < 0.05).


These results suggest that measurements of phi and TBV using BIA combined with a difference of COP levels before and after administration of albumin are promising approaches to discriminate CLS from non-CLS patients at the bed-side.

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Marx, G., Burczyk, C., Cobas Meyer, M. et al. Diagnostic determinants for capillary leakage syndrome (CLS) in septic shock patients. Crit Care 3 (Suppl 1), P136 (2000).

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