Refining the Pediatric Multiple Organ Dysfunction Syndrome

Scott L. Weiss, Joseph A. Carcillo, Francis Leclerc, Stephane Leteurtre, Luregn J. Schlapbach, Pierre Tissieres, James L. Wynn, Jacques Lacroix, Marie E Steiner

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9 Scopus citations
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Since its introduction into the medical literature in the 1970s, the term multiple organ dysfunction syndrome (or some variant) has been applied broadly to any patient with >1 concurrent organ dysfunction. However, the epidemiology, mechanisms, time course, and outcomes among children with multiple organ dysfunction vary substantially. We posit that the term pediatric multiple organ dysfunction syndrome (or MODS) should be reserved for patients with a systemic pathologic state resulting from a common mechanism (or mechanisms) that affects numerous organ systems simultaneously. In contrast, children in whom organ injuries are attributable to distinct mechanisms should be considered to have additive organ system dysfunctions but not the syndrome of MODS. Although such differentiation may not always be possible with current scientific knowledge, we make the case for how attempts to differentiate multiple organ dysfunction from other states of additive organ dysfunctions can help to evolve clinical and research priorities in diagnosis, monitoring, and therapy from largely organ-specific to more holistic strategies.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article numbere2021052888C
Pages (from-to)S13-S22
Issue numberSupplement_1
StatePublished - Jan 1 2022

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
Publication costs for this manuscript were provided by the Russell Raphaely Endowed Chair for Critical Care Medicine at the Children's Hospital of Philadelphia.

Publisher Copyright:
Copyright © 2022 by the American Academy of Pediatrics

PubMed: MeSH publication types

  • Journal Article
  • Historical Article
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't


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