Targeted Therapy Using Polymyxin B Hemadsorption in Patients With Sepsis

A Post-hoc Analysis of the JSEPTIC-DIC Study and the EUPHRATES Trial

Itsuki Osawa; Tadahiro Goto; Daisuke Kudo; Mineji Hayakawa; Kazuma Yamakawa; Shigeki Kushimoto; Debra M. Foster; John A. Kellum; Kent Doi


Crit Care. 2023;27(245) 

In This Article

Abstract and Introduction


Background: Polymyxin B hemadsorption (PMX-HA) reduces blood endotoxin levels, but characteristics of patients with sepsis likely to benefit from PMX-HA are not well known. We sought to identify patient subgroups likely to benefit from PMX-HA.

Methods: We retrospectively identified 1911 patients with sepsis from a retrospective observational study in Japan (the JSEPTIC-DIC study) and 286 patients with endotoxemic septic shock from a randomized controlled trial in North America that restricted patients to those with high endotoxin activity (the EUPHRATES trial). We applied the machine learning-based causal forest model to the JSEPTIC-DIC cohort to investigate heterogeneity in treatment effects of PMX-HA on 28-day survival after adjusting for potential confounders and ascertain the best criteria for PMX-HA use. The derived criteria for targeted therapy by PMX-HA were validated using the EUPHRATES trial cohort.

Results: The causal forest model revealed heterogeneity in treatment effects of PMX-HA. Since patients having higher treatment effects were more likely to have severe coagulopathy and hyperlactatemia, we identified the potential treatment targets of PMX-HA as patients with PT-INR > 1.4 or lactate > 3 mmol/L. In the EUPHRATES trial cohort, PMX-HA use on the targeted subpopulation (75% of all patients) was significantly associated with higher 28-day survival (PMX-HA vs. control, 68% vs. 52%; treatment effect of PMX-HA, + 16% [95% CI + 2.2% to + 30%], p = 0.02).

Conclusions: Abnormal coagulation and hyperlactatemia in septic patients with high endotoxin activity appear to be helpful to identify patients who may benefit most from PMX-HA. Our findings will inform enrollment criteria for future interventional trials targeting patients with coagulopathy and hyperlactatemia.