Background: Post-esophagectomy complications have an extremely poor prognosis. Recently, polymyxin B-direct hemoperfusion (PMX-DHP) therapy using a polymyxin B-immobilized fiber column was reported to be beneficial in gram-negative and/or gram-positive bacterial sepsis. The present retrospective study investigated the effectiveness and safety of PMX-DHP therapy in severe sepsis or septic shock after esophagectomy. Methods: Fifteen severe sepsis or septic shock patients were included. Seven (four, pneumonia; two, anastomotic leakage; and one, reconstructed colon necrosis) patients received 2-5 h of PMX-DHP therapy (PMX-DHP therapy group), whereas 8 (three, pneumonia; three, anastomotic leakage; and two, gastric tube necrosis) received conventional therapy (control group). Results: Length of stay in the intensive care unit (ICU) was significantly shorter in the PMX-DHP therapy group than in the conventional therapy group (P = 0.040). In the comparison of pre- and post-PMX-DHP therapy groups, the total Sequential Organ Failure Assessment (SOFA) score, respiratory system score, and P/F ratio improved (P = 0.0027, P = 0.025, and P = 0.0087, respectively) in the post-PMX-DHP therapy group. In the comparison of conventional and PMX-DHP therapy groups, the variations in the total SOFA score, respiratory system score, and P/F ratio improved (P = 0.019, P = 0.0063, and P = 0.0015, respectively) in the PMX-DHP therapy group. Moreover, the respiratory system score was lower (P = 0.0062) in the PMX-DHP therapy group at the time of discharge from the ICU. No adverse effects were observed during the course of PMX-DHP therapy. Conclusions: PMX-DHP therapy was safe and effective in improving respiratory and general conditions of patients with severe sepsis and septic shock after esophagectomy and decreased the length of stay in the ICU.
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