Article Text

Download PDFPDF

Effect of early goal-directed therapy on mortality in patients with severe sepsis or septic shock: a meta-analysis of randomised controlled trials
  1. Hong Yu,
  2. Dongmei Chi,
  3. Siyang Wang,
  4. Bin Liu
  1. Department of Anesthesiology, West China Hospital of Sichuan University, Chengdu, Sichuan, PR China
  1. Correspondence to Professor Bin Liu; liubinhx{at}


Objective To determine whether patients with severe sepsis or septic shock could benefit from a strict and early goal-directed therapy (EGDT) protocol recommended by Surviving Sepsis Campaign (SSC) Guidelines.

Methods MEDLINE/PubMed, EMBASE/OVID and Cochrane Central Register of Controlled Trials (CENTRAL) were searched between March 1983 and March 2015. Eligible studies evaluated the outcomes of EGDT versus usual care or standard therapy in patients with severe sepsis or septic shock. The primary outcomes were mortality within 28 days, 60 days and 90 days. Included studies must report at least one metric of mortality.

Results 5 studies that enrolled 4303 patients with 2144 in the EGDT group and 2159 in the control group were included in this meta-analysis. Overall, there were slight decreases of mortality within 28 days, 60 days and 90 days in the random-effect model in patients with severe sepsis or septic shock receiving EGDT resuscitation. However, none of the differences reached statistical significance (RR=0.86; 95% CI 0.69 to 1.06; p=0.16; p for heterogeneity=0.008, I2=71%; RR=0.94; 95% CI 0.81 to 1.10; p=0.46; p for heterogeneity=0.16, I2=43%; RR=0.98; 95% CI 0.88 to 1.10; p=0.75; p for heterogeneity=0.87, I2=0%, respectively).

Conclusions The current meta-analysis pooled data from five RCTs and found no survival benefit of EGDT in patients with sepsis. However, the included trials are not sufficiently homogeneous and potential confounding factors in the negative trials (ProCESS, ARISE and ProMISe) might bias the results and diminish the treatment effect of EGDT. Further well-designed studies should eliminate all potential source of bias to determine if EGDT has a mortality benefit.


This is an Open Access article distributed in accordance with the Creative Commons Attribution Non Commercial (CC BY-NC 4.0) license, which permits others to distribute, remix, adapt, build upon this work non-commercially, and license their derivative works on different terms, provided the original work is properly cited and the use is non-commercial. See:

View Full Text

Statistics from

Request Permissions

If you wish to reuse any or all of this article please use the link below which will take you to the Copyright Clearance Center’s RightsLink service. You will be able to get a quick price and instant permission to reuse the content in many different ways.