Introduction: Severe sepsis and septic shock are common problems in the intensive care unit and carry a high mortality. Endotoxin, one of the principal components on the outer membrane of gram-negative bacteria, is considered important to their pathogenesis. Polymyxin B bound and immobilized to polystyrene fibers (PMX-F) is a medical device that aims to remove circulating endotoxin by adsorption, theoretically preventing the progression of the biological cascade of sepsis. We performed a systematic review to describe the effect in septic patients of direct hemoperfusion with PMX-F on outcomes of blood pressure, use of vasoactive drugs, oxygenation, and mortality reported in published studies. Methods: We searched PubMed, the Cochrane Collaboration Database, and bibliographies of retrieved articles and consulted with experts to identify relevant studies. Prospective and retrospective observational studies, pre- and post-intervention design, and randomized controlled trials were included. Three authors reviewed all citations. We identified a total of 28 publications - 9 randomized controlled trials, 7 non-randomized parallel studies, and 12 pre-post design studies - that reported at least one of the specified outcome measures (pooled sample size, 1,425 patients: 978 PMX-F and 447 conventional medical therapy). Results: Overall, mean arterial pressure (MAP) increased by 19 mm Hg (95% confidence interval [CI], 15 to 22 mm Hg; p < 0.001), representing a 26% mean increase in MAP (range, 14% to 42%), whereas dopamine/dobutamine dose decreased by 1.8 μg/kg per minute (95% CI, 0.4 to 3.3 μg/kg per minute; p = 0.01) after PMX-F. There was significant intertrial heterogeneity for these outcomes (p < 0.001), which became non-significant when analysis was stratified for baseline MAP. The mean arterial partial pressure of oxygen/fraction of inspired oxygen (PaO 2 /FiO 2 ) ratio increased by 32 units (95% CI, 23 to 41 units; p < 0.001). PMX-F therapy was associated with significantly lower mortality risk (risk ratio, 0.53; 95% CI, 0.43 to 0.65). The trials assessed had suboptimal method quality. Conclusion: Based on this critical review of the published literature, direct hemoperfusion with PMX-F appears to have favorable effects on MAP, dopamine use, PaO 2 /FiO 2 ratio, and mortality. However, publication bias and lack of blinding need to be considered. These findings support the need for further rigorous study of this therapy.