Outcomes variables for research on sepsis have centered on mortality and changes in the host immune response. However, a recent task force (Sepsis-3) revised the definition of sepsis to "life-threatening organ dysfunction caused by a dysregulated host response to infection." This new definition suggests that human studies should focus on organ dysfunction. The appropriate criteria for organ dysfunction in either human sepsis or animal models are, however, poorly delineated, limiting the potential for translation. Further, in many systems, the difference between "dysfunction" and "injury" may not be clear. In this review, we identify criteria for organ dysfunction and/or injury in human sepsis and in rodents subjected to cecal ligation and puncture (CLP), the most commonly used animal model of sepsis. We further examine instances where overlap between human sepsis and CLP is sufficient to identify translational endpoints. Additional verification may demonstrate that these endpoints are applicable to other animals and to other sepsis models, for example, pneumonia. We believe that the use of these proposed measures of organ dysfunction will facilitate mechanistic studies on the pathobiology of sepsis and enhance our ability to develop animal model platforms to evaluate therapeutic approaches to human sepsis.
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Faculty; Northwell Researcher
School of Medicine; Northwell Health