Diagnostic Approach to Sepsis — State of the Art

  • F. M. Brunkhorst
  • K. Reinhart
Conference paper


Early diagnosis of the different severities of septic inflammation is important for early implementation of specific therapies. Sepsis and severe sepsis are accompanied by clinical and laboratory signs of systemic inflammation. However, patients suffering from non-infectious inflammation may present with similar signs and symptoms, making it difficult to diagnose infection based on clinical findings alone. Bacteriological evidence of sepsis, although definitive and specific, may not be obtainable, is time consuming, and may not occur concurrently with clinical signs of sepsis. It is therefore important to identify markers, which, by enabling an early diagnosis of sepsis and organ dysfunction, would allow early specific therapeutic interventions. Whereas C-reactive protein (CRP) is a more-sensitive parameter for the diagnosis of non-systemic infections, procalcitonin (PCT) seems to be a useful parameter to improve the diagnosis and monitoring of therapy in patients with severe sepsis and septic shock.


Septic Shock Severe Sepsis Organ Dysfunction Systemic Inflammatory Response Syndrome Viral Meningitis 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


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© Springer-Verlag Italia, Milano 2002

Authors and Affiliations

  • F. M. Brunkhorst
  • K. Reinhart

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