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No Survival Benefit With Early Goal-Directed Therapy for Septic Shock


Clinical question

For patients presenting with early septic shock, does early goal-directed therapy reduce mortality?

Bottom line

As compared with usual resuscitation care, early goal-directed therapy (EGDT) using central venous monitoring does not improve mortality in patients presenting to the emergency department with septic shock.


ARISE Investigators; ANZICS Clinical Trials Group, Peake SL, et al. Goal-directed resuscitation for patients with early septic shock. N Engl J Med 2014;371(16):1496-1506.

Study design

Randomized controlled trial (nonblinded); (LOE: 1b)


Inpatient (ICU only)


A recent trial showed that protocolized care using EGDT for the treatment of septic shock does not decrease mortality (N Engl J Med 2014;370:1683-1693). The current study supports these findings. Using concealed allocation, investigators randomized patients presenting to the emergency department with evidence of septic shock to either EGDT or usual care. For the EGDT group (n = 793), clinicians followed a 6-hour resuscitation protocol with central venous hemodynamic monitoring to guide the use of fluids, vasopressors, inotropes, and transfusions. For the usual care group (n = 798), care was at the discretion of the treating physicians, but central venous monitoring was not permitted during the 6-hour intervention. Analysis was by intention to treat and the 2 groups were similar at baseline. Additionally, adherence to the EGDT protocol was high and loss to follow-up was low. During the 6-hour resuscitation, patients in the EGDT group received a greater volume of intravenous fluids and were more likely to have received vasopressors (67% vs 58%), transfusions (14% vs 7%), or dobutamine (15% vs 3%). For the primary outcome of 90-day mortality, however, there was no significant difference detected between the 2 groups. Furthermore, there were no significant differences in the use of renal replacement therapy, in-hospital mortality, or length of hospital stay.

Dr. Kulkarni is an assistant professor of hospital medicine at Northwestern University in Chicago.

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