Cytokines play a critical role in coordinating and amplifying a host immune response to infection. The normal pattern of localized and systemic release of proinflammatory and anti-inflammatory cytokines varies on the basis of the disease process. A dysregulated cytokine response can lead to a hyper-inflammatory condition called a cytokine storm. This is believed to contribute to the pathophysiology of sepsis and septic shock, a condition carrying high morbidity and mortality in critically ill patients. Extracorporeal cytokine hemoadsorption is an emerging technology utilized in the treatment of dysregulated inflammatory states such as sepsis, although there is a paucity of clinical evidence supporting its outcomes benefits. We assess the peer-reviewed literature relating to cytokine hemoadsorption in the context of sepsis and suggest areas of future research incorporating this novel technology.
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