Intensivists target different blood pressure component values to manage intensive care unit (ICU) patients with sepsis. We aimed to evaluate the relationship between individual blood pressure components and organ dysfunction in critically ill septic patients.
In this retrospective observational study, we evaluated 77,328 septic patients in 364 ICUs in the eICU Research Institute database. Primary exposure was the lowest cumulative value of each component; mean, systolic, diastolic, and pulse pressure, sustained for at least 120 min during ICU stay. Primary outcome was ICU mortality and secondary outcomes were composite outcomes of acute kidney injury or death and myocardial injury or death during ICU stay. Multivariable logistic regression spline and threshold regression adjusting for potential confounders were conducted to evaluate associations between exposures and outcomes. Sensitivity analysis was conducted in 4211 patients with septic shock.
Lower values of all blood pressures components were associated with a higher risk of ICU mortality. Estimated change-points for the risk of ICU mortality were 69 mmHg for mean, 100 mmHg for systolic, 60 mmHg for diastolic, and 57 mmHg for pulse pressure. The strength of association between blood pressure components and ICU mortality as determined by slopes of threshold regression were mean (- 0.13), systolic (- 0.11), diastolic (- 0.09), and pulse pressure (- 0.05). Equivalent non-linear associations between blood pressure components and ICU mortality were confirmed in septic shock patients. We observed a similar relationship between blood pressure components and secondary outcomes.
Blood pressure component association with ICU mortality is the strongest for mean followed by systolic, diastolic, and weakest for pulse pressure. Critical care teams should continue to follow MAP-based resuscitation, though exploratory analysis focusing on blood pressure components in different sepsis phenotypes in critically ill ICU patients is needed.

© 2023. The Author(s).