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Early hydrocortisone treatment counteracts circulatory derangement but not cytokine response in porcine endotoxemia


We evaluated whether treatment with hydrocortisone administered just after establishment of endotoxin-mediated circulatory dysfunction would have anti-inflammatory and shock reversing effects. Establishment of endotoxin-mediated circulatory dysfunction was defined as the moment when the mean pulmonary arterial pressure (MPAP) reached the double baseline value.


All pigs were anesthetized and given endotoxin infusion during the 6 hours of the experiment. Eight pigs were randomized to the hydrocortisone group, receiving hydrocortisone at 5 mg/kg intravenously, or to the control group, receiving a corresponding volume of saline, as soon as the MPAP doubled the baseline value. P < 0.05 was considered significant.


No difference in baseline data was noted between the groups. No differences in TNFα (Figure 1), IL-6 and core temperature were seen between the groups. Pigs in the hydrocortisone group had significantly higher mean arterial pressure and systemic vascular resistance index during the 6-hour experimental period than pigs in the control group, while heart rate was significantly lower in the hydrocortisone group at 1 to 6 hours as compared with controls.

Figure 1
figure 1

TNFα over time (mean ± SEM).


Early treatment with hydrocortisone, administered after the onset of endotoxemia, counteracted circulatory deterioration, but did not affect the plasma levels of proinflammatory cytokines in this model. Thus, TNFα and IL-6 might not be involved in the development of circulatory dysfunction during the early phase of experimental endotoxemia.

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Söderberg, E., Lipcsey, M., Sjölin, J. et al. Early hydrocortisone treatment counteracts circulatory derangement but not cytokine response in porcine endotoxemia. Crit Care 14 (Suppl 1), P18 (2010).

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  • Hydrocortisone
  • Arterial Pressure
  • Core Temperature
  • Resistance Index
  • Systemic Vascular Resistance