Multiple Organ Dysfunction Syndrome

  • Nikoleta S. Kolovos
  • Barry P. Markovitz


Multiple organ dysfunction syndrome (MODS) is the final common pathway that results from a wide variety of insults resulting in widespread endothelial dysfunction and organ injury. The classic definition is the sequential loss of function of three organ systems, namely the lung, liver, and kidney. Although this is the definition described in adults and usually includes victims of hemorrhage or multiple trauma, both pediatric and adult intensivists recognize that the progressive failure of these organs is accompanied by failure or dysfunction of other systems, namely cardiovascular, neurologic and hematologic. Upwards of 75% of patients admitted to surgical intensive care units who die have their cause of death listed as “multiple organ system failure”. The terminology describing multiple organ dysfunction syndrome and failure has evolved over time. The American College of Chest Physicians/Society of Critical Care Medicine Consensus statement in 1992 describes the “multiple organ dysfunction syndrome” as a continuum of organ compromise. No longer used is the term “multiple organ systems failure” (MOSF), which suggests presence or absence of the cessation of function of a particular system.


Multiple Organ Failure Continuous Renal Replacement Therapy Neuromuscular Blockade Organ Injury Multiple Organ Dysfunction Syndrome 
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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag London Limited 2012

Authors and Affiliations

  • Nikoleta S. Kolovos
    • 1
  • Barry P. Markovitz
    • 2
  1. 1.Pediatric Critical Care Medicine, Department of PediatricsWashington University School of Medicine, St. Louis Children’s HospitalSt. LouisUSA
  2. 2.Pediatric Critical Care Medicine, Departments of Pediatrics and Anesthesiology/Critical Care MedicineUniversity of Southern California Keck School of Medicine, Children’s Hospital Los AngelesLos AngelesUSA

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