• Hepatic blood flow and splanchnic oxygen consumption were measured in 16 injured (n = 6) or septic (n = 10) patients and compared with values in 16 normal volunteers. Sepsis and injury appeared to stimulate an increase in blood flow and oxygen utilization, with the highest levels observed in the septic group. Patients with sepsis exhibited a 72% and 60% increase in hepatic blood flow and splanchnic oxygen consumption, respectively, compared with normal volunteers. Application of these data to the Krogh-Erlang tissue model indicates that despite an increase in oxygen delivery to the splanchnic bed during sepsis, it becomes more sensitive to hypoxic/ischemic events compared with other patient groups. This is indicated by a reduced centrilobular and increased critical oxygen tension. The major factor responsible for this is the regional hypermetabolism present in sepsis. This analysis emphasizes the critical importance of maintaining oxygen transport in critically ill patients with sepsis.
(Arch Surg. 1990;125:441-443)