Extracorporeal Cytokine Adsorption Therapy As a Preventive Measure in Cardiac Surgery and As a Therapeutic Add-On Treatment in Sepsis: An Update Systematic Review of Comparative Efficacy and Safety

Crit Care Med. 2021 May 3. Online ahead of print

Objectives

Evaluating whether there is a clinical benefit of using extracorporeal cytokine adsorption therapy in two indications.

Design

Systematic review.

Setting

Search on four databases, Medline, Embase, The Cochrane Library, and the European Network for Health Technology Assessment planned and ongoing projects database.

Patients

Patients with sepsis/septic shock; patients undergoing cardiac surgery

Interventions

Cytokine adsorption.

Measurements and Main Results

Randomized controlled trials and prospective studies with concurrent control were eligible for the evidence synthesis. The quality of the individual studies and the strength of the available evidence were assessed using the Cochrane risk of bias tool and the Grading of Recommendations, Assessment, Development, and Evaluation approach, respectively. For the preventive treatment of extracorporeal cytokine adsorption therapy in patients undergoing cardiac surgery, we found very low-quality inconclusive evidence for mortality (five randomized controlled trials, n = 163), length of stay in the ICU (five randomized controlled trials, n = 163), and length of hospitalization (three randomized controlled trials, n = 101). Very low-quality inconclusive evidence was found for (serious) adverse events (four randomized controlled trials, n = 148). For the therapeutic treatment of extracorporeal cytokine adsorption therapy in patients with sepsis/septic shock, we found very low-quality inconclusive evidence for mortality up to 60-day follow-up (two randomized controlled trials, n = 117), organ function (two randomized controlled trials, n = 117) and length of stay in the ICU (one randomized controlled trial, n = 20). Very low-quality inconclusive evidence was found for (serious) adverse events (two randomized controlled trials, n = 117).

Conclusions

Given the available evidence, the efficacy and safety of extracorporeal cytokine adsorption therapy in combination with standard care in the investigated indications was not established. We strongly recommend considering well-powered studies with patient-relevant endpoints instead of investing further research funds on studies that may not shed light on the clinical benefit of extracorporeal cytokine adsorption therapy.

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