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What: Shares in Cytosorbents Corp (NASDAQ:CTSO) collapsed by more than 20% today after the company released financial results that disappointed investors.

So What: Cytosorbents markets Cytosorb, which is approved in the EU for use in critical care patients to remove cytokines. Cytokines are typically released by the body in the case of injury; however, patients in critical care can overproduce cytokines, and that can result in life-threatening organ failure.

Despite Cytosorb's ability to reduce cytokine levels, sales of $4.1 million in the fourth quarter trailed some analysts' expectations. Additionally, the company reported a net loss of $1.29 per share that was worse than Wall Street anticipated.

Now What: Cytosorb hasn't been approved for use in the more profit-friendly U.S. market, but Cytosorbents hopes to conduct trials in critical care heart patients that could eventually allow it to file for FDA approval. Until then, Cytosorbents will need to rely on European sales growth.

Unfortunately, that growth may not come as quickly as some industry watchers were hoping. In the company's earnings release, Cytosorbents announced that it was restructuring its direct sales force in certain important markets and that restructuring was likely to leave gaps in sales territories in the short term. That should raise investors' eyebrows and prompt caution given that it could be an indication that Cytosorb sales may struggle this quarter. For that reason, I'm content to sit on the sidelines on this one until we get conviction that the company's restructuring will indeed position it for the growth necessary to advance Cytosorb research programs for the U.S. market.

This article represents the opinion of the writer, who may disagree with the “official” recommendation position of a Motley Fool premium advisory service. We’re motley! Questioning an investing thesis -- even one of our own -- helps us all think critically about investing and make decisions that help us become smarter, happier, and richer.