Despite advances in the development of powerful antibiotics and intensive care unit, sepsis is still life threatening and the mortality rate remains unchanged for the past three decades. Recent prospective trials with biological response modifiers have shown a modest clinical benefit. The pathological basis of sepsis is initially an excessive inflammatory response against invading pathogens, leading to systemic inflammatory response syndrome (SIRS). Evidence reveals that a variety of inflammatory mediators orchestrate the intense inflammation through complicated cellular interactions. More recent data indicate that most septic patients survive this stage and then subjected to an immunoparalysis phase, termed compensatory anti-inflammatory response syndrome (CARS), which is more fatal than the initial phase. Sepsis is a complicated clinical syndrome with multiple physiologic and immunologic abnormalities. In this review, we summarize the recent understandings of the pathophysiology of sepsis, and introduce recent patents on diagnosis, treatment and prophylaxis for sepsis.
Keywords: Sepsis, septic shock, multiple organ failure, systemic inflammatory response syndrome, anti-inflammatory response syndrome