Table 2

Outcomes by cortisol level

Severe low cortisol
≤15 µg/dL
Relative low cortisol
15.01–25 µg/dL
Normal cortisol
>25 µg/dL
P value
N228384
Cortisol level12.6 [8.5–14.2)19.7 [18.1–21.8)*29.8 [27.7–35.4)*<0.001
Units of blood product within 24 hours7 (1–25)2 [0–6)*0 [0–3)*<0.001
Vasopressors within 72 hours‡6 (38%)10 (15%)*3 (4%)*0.001
 High dose5 (83%)9 (90%)2 (67%)
 Low dose1 (17%)1 (10%)1 (33%)
Cosyntropin stimulation test performed5 (23%)7 (8%)7 (8%)0.11
Ventilator days10 (4–17)6 (2–12)7 (2–15)0.16
ICU LOS (survivors)15 (8–19)7 (3–14)*8 (4–17)0.17
Hospital LOS (survivors)26 (13–34)17 (9–25)19 (9–27)0.14
Mortality8 (36%)12 (15%)*6 (7%)*0.002
  • Low dose=norepinephrine ≤ 5 mcg/min or phenylephrine ≤100 mcg/min; high dose=norepinephrine > 5 mcg/min or phenylephrine >100 mcg/min.

  • *p < 0.05 compared with cortisol ≤15 µg/dL.

  • ‡Patients receiving vasopressors for spinal or cerebral perfusion were excluded from the total number of patients for percentage calculations.

  • ICU, intensive care unit; LOS, length of stay