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ISSN (printed): 1385-0229. ISSN (electronic): 1573-7411.

Discontinued in 2001. Sepsis ñ the clinical syndrome resulting from life-threatening infection ñ is the leading cause of morbidity and mortality for critically ill patients. Improved diagnostic and interventional techniques the availability of more potent antimicrobial agents and advances in ICU supportive care have had only a minimal impact on outcome. However the recognition that sepsis arises indirectly through the uncontrolled activation of a complex endogenous host response has led to a fundamental paradigm shift with important scientific and clinical implications. New insights in biology have mandated new terminology. Rapid developments in the understanding of the nature and regulation of the host inflammatory response have attracted the interests of scientists whose backgrounds include microbiology immunology and biostatistics while intensivists surgeons and infectious disease specialists have pioneered attempts to apply these developments to the care of critically ill patients. The challenges confronting the investigator in this field span a scientific spectrum from molecular biology to clinical epidemiology. Yet there has been no common forum to facilitate the dissemination of new knowledge to such an heterogeneous group of investigators. Sepsis is an international journal that promotes the interdisciplinary exchange of knowledge and ideas in this rapidly evolving field. Through a series of invited reviews each focusing on a particular aspect of the study of the host septic response Sepsis brings together the insights and perspectives of acknowledged authorities with the objective of facilitating the creative exchange of ideas and perspectives. The results of clinical trials designed to apply insights derived in the controlled circumstances of the laboratory to the management of critically ill patients have been disappointing and argue for a careful re-evaluation of many of our assumptions in this complex field. Sepsis strives to be not only informative but provocative iconoclastic and integrative in the belief that scientific progress occurs best through collaboration dialogue and a willingness to challenge concepts that have become outmoded.

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