I. Examine adrenal cortical function and the incidence of adrenal dysfunction in children
with septic shock.
II. Examine the mortality, length of stay in the PICU, and incidence of multiorgan failure
in children with adrenal dysfunction and septic shock.
Patients undergo a corticotropin stimulation test within 8 hours of admission to the PICU.
Blood samples for plasma cortisol and corticotropin levels are drawn at time 0 followed by
corticotropin 1-24 IV. Additional cortisol levels are drawn at 30 and 60 minutes.
Corticotropin is measured by immunoradiometric assay and cortisol is measured by
radioimmunoassay. Mean arterial blood pressure, heart rate, and respiratory rate are
recorded at baseline and at 60 minutes.
Patients receive routine management for septic shock and multiple organ system failure.
PROTOCOL ENTRY CRITERIA:
Patients admitted to the PICU with septic shock; Hypotension (systolic blood pressure less
than 2 standard deviations below age normal) plus 3 or more of the following: temperature
greater than 38 or less than 36 degrees Celsius; heart rate greater than 90th percentile
for age; respiratory rate greater than 90th percentile for age; WBC greater than
12,000/mm3 or less than 4,000/mm3 or greater than 10% band forms; perfusion abnormalities
including lactic acidosis, oliguria, or an acute alteration in mental status
Arterial or central venous catheter in place
At least one month since prior corticosteroids
Renal: No nephrotic syndrome requiring glucocorticoids
Pulmonary: No asthma requiring glucocorticoids
Other: No condition requiring glucocorticoids (e.g., adrenal insufficiency); No
uncontrolled diabetes mellitus; No prior adrenal dysfunction (plasma cortisol
concentration less than 19 mcg/dL 30 and 60 minutes post corticotropin stimulation); No
hypersensitivity to corticotropin