Early prolonged neutrophil activation in critically ill patients with sepsis

Sanna Törnblom, Sara Nisula, Suvi T Vaara, Meri Poukkanen, Sture Andersson, Ville Pettilä, Eero Pesonen
Innate Immunity 2021, 27 (2): 192-200
We hypothesised that plasma concentrations of biomarkers of neutrophil activation and pro-inflammatory cytokines differ according to the phase of rapidly evolving sepsis. In an observational study, we measured heparin-binding protein (HBP), myeloperoxidase (MPO), IL-6 and IL-8 in 167 sepsis patients on intensive care unit admission. We prospectively used the emergence of the first sepsis-associated organ dysfunction (OD) as a surrogate for the sepsis phase. Fifty-five patients (of 167, 33%) developed the first OD > 1 h before, 74 (44%) within ± 1 h, and 38 (23%) > 1 h after intensive care unit admission. HBP and MPO were elevated at a median of 12 h before the first OD, remained high up to 24 h, and were not associated with sepsis phase. IL-6 and IL-8 rose and declined rapidly close to OD emergence. Elevation of neutrophil activation markers HBP and MPO was an early event in the evolution of sepsis, lasting beyond the subsidence of the pro-inflammatory cytokine reaction. Thus, as sepsis biomarkers, HBP and MPO were not as prone as IL-6 and IL-8 to the effect of sample timing.

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