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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 2013 March;79(3):294-8

language: English

Thrombomodulin in sepsis

Levi M. 1, Van Der Poll T. 2, 3

1 Department of Vascular Medicine and Internal Medicine, Academic Medical Center, University of Amsterdam, the Netherlands;
2 Center for Experimental Molecular Medicine, Academic Medical Center, University of Amsterdam, the Netherlands;
3 Center for Infection and Immunity Research Amsterdam (CINIMA), Academic Medical Center, University of Amsterdam, the Netherlands


Thrombomodulin has a pivotal role in the protein C system that is important in the pathogenesis of sepsis. In sepsis, endothelial cell expression of thrombomodulin is strongly downregulated, causing an impaired activation of protein C that is central in the modulation of coagulation activation and inflammatory processes. In addition, thrombomodulin itself has marked immunomodulatory effects, targeting neutrophil adhesion, complement activation and cytokine generation. Several preclinical studies in experimental sepsis models have shown that administration of soluble thrombomodulin is capable of improving the derangement of coagulation, ameliorates inflammatory responses and may restore organ dysfunction. Initial clinical studies in patients with disseminated intravascular coagulation, of whom a significant proportion were patients with sepsis, demonstrate a beneficial effect of recombinant soluble thrombomodulin on restoration of coagulation and improvement of organ failure.

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