JOURNAL ARTICLE
RESEARCH SUPPORT, N.I.H., EXTRAMURAL
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Endothelial cell activation in emergency department patients with sepsis-related and non-sepsis-related hypotension.

Shock 2011 August
Previous studies found increased circulating levels of biomarkers related to endothelial cell activation in patients with sepsis, particularly in the most severe sepsis stages of sepsis shock. It remains unclear, however, whether this activation is mainly driven by sepsis-specific mechanisms or occurs as a generalized inflammatory response. The objective of this analysis was to compare patterns of biomarkers of endothelial cell activation in patients with hypotension due to sepsis and nonsepsis etiologies. This is a secondary analysis of a prospective, observational cohort study including emergency department patients older than17 years with an episode of hypotension defined as any systolic blood pressure measurement less than 100 mmHg. Etiology of hypotension episodes was classified as sepsis or nonsepsis (eg, cardiac or hemorrhagic). Endothelial activation biomarkers of cell adhesion (E-selectin, vascular cell adhesion molecule 1 [VCAM-1], and intercellular adhesion molecule 1 [ICAM-1]), coagulation (plasminogen activator inhibitor 1 [PAI-1]), and vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) signaling (VEGF, soluble fms-like tyrosine kinase 1 [sFLT-1]) were assayed. A total of 161 patients were analyzed. Hypotension was classified as sepsis (n = 69), nonsepsis (cardiac [n = 35], hemorrhagic [n = 12]), or indeterminate (n = 45). With the exception of PAI-1, median plasma levels of all endothelial markers were significantly higher in patients with sepsis compared with nonsepsis etiology (P < 0.05 for all comparisons). Logistic regression analysis, adjusted for age, sex, mean blood pressure level, and mortality, confirmed a significant association of E-selectin (odds ratio [OR], 3.7; 95% confidence interval [CI], 1.7-7.8, P < 0.001) and sFLT-1 (OR, 2.0; CI, 1.1-3.8; P < 0.03) with sepsis etiology. Biomarkers VCAM-1 (OR, 2.0; CI, 0.88-4.4; P = 0.1), VEGF (OR, 1.5; CI, 0.98-2.2; P = 0.06), ICAM-1 (OR, 1.5; CI, 0.9-2.6; P = 0.2), and PAI-1 (OR, 1.4; CI, 0.8-2.3; P = 0.2) did not reach statistical significance. This study found a sepsis-specific activation of endothelium activation markers, particularly E-selectin and sFLT-1, in emergency department patients with hypotension.

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