Cytokine patterns in patients who undergo hemofiltration for treatment of multiple organ failure

T Koperna, S E Vogl, G P Pöschl, G Hamilton, G Röder, P Germann
World Journal of Surgery 1998, 22 (5): 443-7; discussion 448
The excessive uncontrolled activation of inflammatory cells and mediators after trauma or major surgery plays a key role in the development of adult respiratory distress syndrome and multiple organ system failure (MOSF). In the past elevated cytokine levels were shown to influence the outcome of these patients adversely. There are diverging results regarding the removal of circulating cytokines by various methods of hemopurification for clinical improvement of MOSF. Seven patients after trauma or major surgery underwent continuous venovenous hemofiltration (CVVH) for the treatment of severe organ failure of the heart and lungs (Murray score 2.74) but not for renal or liver failure. The cytokine levels were measured at the beginning and 15, 60, 120, and 240 minutes after initiation of CVVH (measure points MP1-5). Clinical improvement during the treatment was monitored, and correlation with cytokine levels was evaluated. Arterially measured tumor necrosis factor alpha rose from 11.14 ng/ml to 17.86 ng/m1 (p < 0.05). Arterial interleukin-6 (IL-6) levels significantly decreased during CVVH from 1284.7 ng/m1 to 557.9 ng/m1; IL-8 levels simultaneously decreased from an initial peak of up to 154.4 ng/m1 at MP3 to 97.3 ng/m1 at MP5. The drop in serum IL-6 and IL-8 levels closely correlated with clinical improvement. After 2 hours of CVVH the hemodynamic situation improved significantly, as revealed by a decrease in catecholamine expenditure, an increase in arterial pressure, and a decrease in pulmonary artery pressure. Moreover, 2 hours after the initiation of CVVH the oxygenation index rose significantly and correlated well with the drop in shunt fraction. The Murray score significantly fell to 1.86. The removal of IL-6 and IL-8 by CVVH after initial stimulation correlates with clinical improvement, which was demonstrated by significantly improved oxygenation and hemodynamics from 2 hours after the initiation of CVVH onward. The elimination of cytokines and several mediators by CVVH may contribute to the cardiopulmonary improvement of critically ill patients. In comparison with the clinical control group (n = 7), which was comparable in terms of MOSF, no intervention led to a similar improvement in cardiorespiratory failure, and overall two of these patients died. Moreover, patients of the control group experienced a significant longer stay at in the intensive care unit.

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