Cardiac dysfunction is a well-recognized complication of severe sepsis and septic shock. Cardiac dysfunction in sepsis is characterized by ventricular dilatation, reduction in ejection fraction and reduced contractility. Initially, cardiac dysfunction was considered to occur only during the "hypodynamic" phase of shock. But we now know that it occurs very early in sepsis even during the "hyperdynamic" phase of septic shock. Circulating blood-borne factors were suspected to be involved in the evolution of sepsis induced cardiomyopathy, but it is not until recently that the cellular and molecular events are being targeted by researchers in a quest to understand this enigmatic process. Septic cardiomyopathy has been the subject of investigation for nearly half a century now and yet controversies exist in understanding it's pathophysiology. Here, we discuss our understanding of the pathogenesis of septic cardiomyopathy and the complex roles played by nitric oxide, mitochondrial dysfunction, complements and cytokines.
Recommended CitationFlynn, Anthony; Chokkalingam Mani, Bhalaghuru; and Mather, Paul J, "Sepsis-induced cardiomyopathy: a review of pathophysiologic mechanisms." (2010). Department of Medicine Faculty Papers. Paper 51.