Background Synopsis

The ARISE RCT was a multi-centre, randomised controlled trial of the effect of early goal-directed therapy, compared to standard care, on 90-day mortality in patients presenting to the Emergency Department with severe sepsis.

Patients were randomised in the ED to receive either EGDT for a total of 6 hours post-randomisation, or standard care. Patients assigned to receive EGDT were cared for by the dedicated ARISE study team. The patient received treatment as per the study protocol for 6 hours with central blood oxygen levels as the target end-point, and then received standard care. Patients assigned to receive standard care continued to be cared for by the hospital team in accordance with current best practice. Patients in both groups received any additional treatment needed, such as antibiotics or surgery.

The study was conducted in multiple sites with 1600 patients enrolled in the study over a 2.5 year period.


Of the 1600 enrolled patients, 796 were assigned to the EGDT group and 804 to the usual-care group. Primary outcome data were available for more than 99% of the patients. Patients in the EGDT group received a larger mean (±SD) volume of intravenous fluids in the first 6 hours after randomization than did those in the usual-care group (1964±1415 ml vs. 1713±1401 ml) and were more likely to receive vasopressor infusions (66.6% vs. 57.8%), red-cell transfusions (13.6% vs. 7.0%), and dobutamine (15.4% vs. 2.6%) (P<0.001 for all comparisons). At 90 days after randomization, 147 deaths had occurred in the EGDT group and 150 had occurred in the usual-care group, for rates of death of 18.6% and 18.8%, respectively (absolute risk difference with EGDT vs. usual care, -0.3 percentage points; 95% confidence interval, -4.1 to 3.6; P=0.90). There was no significant difference in survival time, in-hospital mortality, duration of organ support, or length of hospital stay.


In critically ill patients presenting to the emergency department with early septic shock, EGDT did not reduce all-cause mortality at 90 days.