The Therapy

Extracorporeal blood purification therapy

CytoSorb is an extracorporeal blood purification therapy designed to reduce excessive levels of inflammatory mediators such as cytokines, or “cytokine storm”, from blood (see “The Adsorber“). In doing so, the goal is to reduce the potentially deadly systemic inflammatory response syndrome (SIRS) seen in life-threatening inflammatory conditions. Use of the therapy may help to mitigate or even avoid deadly complications such as organ failure in this hyper-inflammatory response, helping to stabilize patients and reduce the severity of illness (background information).

In sepsis, one of the largest indications for CytoSorb, antibiotics are used to control the primary infection, while concurrent use of CytoSorb is designed to help control the excessive inflammatory response, remove certain bacterial toxins, and avoid cell-mediated injury to otherwise healthy organs.

Safety: CytoSorb therapy has been used in more than 61,000 human treatments in more than 800 clinical departments around the world.  Treatment has been considered safe and well-tolerated. Depending on the application, patients have been treated up to 24 hours a day, for up to 7 consecutive days, each day using a new CytoSorb adsorber.

Simple application: The CytoSorb adsorber is a standard whole blood perfusion cartridge that can be used with conventional hemodialysis machines, hemoperfusion machines, heart-lung machines, and as stand-alone therapy with many other kinds of blood pumps. It takes only minutes to set-up, and can be used by itself or in series with a standard hemodialyzer or hemofilter.


Treatment goals: CytoSorb therapy is intended to improve patient outcomes by:

  • Improving hemodynamic stability with a reduction in the use of vasopressors
  • Reducing capillary leak syndrome with a reversal of the fluid balance
  • Removing a wide variety of inflammatory mediators that can destabilize the patient
  • Preventing or treating multiple organ failure


For further information, see Therapeutic effects

CytoSorb is currently being used to treat patients in the intensive care unit (ICU) and during surgery

 (See Fields of application):

  • Applications in the ICU (using a dialysis machine):
  • Severe sepsis/septic shock
  • Toxin-mediated infections such as toxic shock syndrome, enterohaemorrhagic E. coli infection, and necrotizing fasciitis
  • Acute respiratory distress syndrome and acute lung injury
  • Severe SIRS after cardiac surgery with cardiopulmonary bypass (CPB)
  • Polytrauma with severe rhabdomyolysis
  • Severe acute pancreatitis
  • Liver failure of varying etiologies
  • Severe burn injury
  • Severe influenza, with or without ECMO
  • Cardiogenic shock
  • Post-cardiopulmonary resuscitation
  • And others


Intra-operative applications in cardiothoracic surgery (using a heart-lung machine):

  • Surgical procedures with long cardiopulmonary bypass (CPB) times (>120min)
  • Patients with an increased risk during complex combination surgeries or reinterventions
  • Patients with risk factors such as
    – Endocarditis
    – Liver dysfunction
    – Aortic dissection
  • Implantation of an LVAD (left ventricular assist device)
  • Patients undergoing heart – lung transplantation