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Doody's Review ServiceReviewer: David J. Dries, MD (University of Minnesota Medical School)
Description: This collection of essays, volume 44 in the Update in Intensive Care and Emergency Medicine series, describes specific patterns and mediators of organ failure in the setting of infection.
Purpose: Global mediators, cellular and tissue-specific changes in the setting of infection are collected from reports of the laboratories doing this work.
Audience: Senior trainees and practitioners in multidisciplinary critical care medicine are an appropriate audience for this book edited and written by an international group of critical care and sepsis leaders.
Features: After introductory comments that provide a unifying force for the presentations, mediators of inflammation are discussed followed by components of the pattern of cellular injury seen in sepsis. Later chapters include metabolic changes and a concluding group of essays focus on organ specific dysfunction. Chapters are well written and include line drawings and tables to summarize data. An ample reference list follows each presentation with references dating to within two years of publication, which represent original work.
Assessment: This is a good compilation of recent work done at the level of cytokines, cells, and tissues to help understand and treat this important problem. Consistent with clinical practice, cellular and organ dysfunction are emphasized while we still know relatively little about the tipping point between cell and tissue death and recovery. This is a worthy overview for the academic clinician facing sepsis at the bedside.