chapter  27
Cutaneous manifestations of sepsis
WithK. P. Aneesh, Mahashweta Das
Pages 5

Sepsis is defined as systemic inflammatory response syndrome (SIRS) secondary to a documented infection. The host response to infection leading to sepsis is a continuum that ranges from sepsis to severe sepsis to septic shock and multiple organ dysfunction syndrome. The primary event in pathogenesis of sepsis is presumed to be uncontrolled activation of the inflammatory response to a pathogen. Sepsis induces a proadhesive, procoagulant, and antifibrinolytic state in endothelial cells, altering hemostasis, leukocyte trafficking, inflammation, barrier function, and microcirculation. The final result of the dysregulated immune response in sepsis is organ failure that may involve multiple organ systems. Even though acute involvement of these organ systems fails to produce striking cutaneous changes, subtle signs may point toward possible compromise of the concerned organ system. Sepsis is a major clinical challenge to clinicians working in emergency and critical care medical units. The clinical signs of sepsis are largely variable and may indicate a spectrum based on the severity. Cutaneous signs are an important pointer toward the possible etiology, severity, and prognosis of sepsis and help in early diagnosis of the condition.