Severe group a streptococcal infection and streptococcal toxic shock syndrome
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PURPOSE: To review the literature on group A streptococcal toxic shock syndrome, (STSS). DATA SOURCE: Medline and EMBASE searches were conducted using the key words group A streptococcal toxic shock syndrome, alone and in combination with anesthesia; and septic shock, combined with anesthesia. Medline was also searched using key words intravenous immunoglobulin, (IVIG) and group A streptococcus, (GAS); and group A streptococcus and antibiotic therapy. Other references were included in this review if they addressed the history, microbiology, pathophysiology, incidence, mortality, presentation and management of invasive GAS infections. Relevant references from the papers reviewed were also considered. Articles on the foregoing topics were included regardless of study design. Non-English language studies were excluded. Literature on the efficacy of IVIG and optimal antibiotic therapy was specifically searched. PRINCIPAL FINDINGS: Reports of invasive GAS infections have recently increased. Invasive GAS infection is associated with a toxic shock syndrome, (STSS), in 8-14% of cases. The STSS characteristically results in shock and multi-organ failure soon after the onset of symptoms, and is associated with a mortality of 33-81%. Many of these patients will require extensive soft tissue debridement or amputation in the operating room, on an emergency basis. The extent of tissue debridement required is often underestimated before skin incision. CONCLUSIONS: Management of STSS requires volume resuscitation, vasopressor/inotrope infusion, antibiotic therapy and supportive care in an intensive care unit, usually including mechanical ventilation. Intravenous immunoglobulin infusion has been recommended. Further studies are needed to define the role of IVIG in STSS management and to determine optimal anesthetic management of patients with septic shock.
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