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A Journal on Anesthesiology, Resuscitation, Analgesia and Intensive Care

Official Journal of the Italian Society of Anesthesiology, Analgesia, Resuscitation and Intensive Care
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Minerva Anestesiologica 2000 May;66(5):351-7

language: English

Assessment of immunological status in the critically ill

Payen D., Faivre V., Lukaszewicz A. C., Losser M. R.

From the Critical Care Division and Department of Anesthesiology McGill University, Montreal, Canada


The systemic inflammatory response (SIRS) results from various types of injuries such as severe infection, trauma, ischemia-reperfusion and major surgery including cardiac surgery with cardio-pulmonary bypass. This response involves immune cell activation and a complex network of proinflammatory cytokines, which may induce multiple organ failure when uncontrolled. The monocyte plays a central role in the response to infection with the release of TNF, IL-1, and IL-12. In addition, monocytes present antigens to T lymphocytes. An optimal antigen presentation requires the expression of MHC class II HLA-DR on monocytes surface and of co-stimulatory molecules such as CD54 on monocytes and LFA-1 on lymphocytes. It has become increasingly apparent that the pro-inflammatory response is balanced by concomitant anti-inflammatory mechanisms that results in monocyte deactivation, characterized by a decrease in HLA-DR expression and the release of anti-inflammatory cytokines such as IL-10. This counterregulatory response, if prolonged or predominant, may predispose the patient to a higher risk of infection. Further studies need to be conducted to precise: 1) the intensity of depression of the surface molecule expression assessing monocyte function, such as HLA DR and CD54; 2) the level of IL-10 and IL-12 release in patients with severe sepsis; 3) the immuno-modulating effects of frequently used treatments in these patients with severe sepsis and in surgical patients; 4) the time course of recovery; 5) if the monitoring of HLA-DR, CD54, IL-10 and IL-12 will better predict the clinical outcome than clinical parameters.

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