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December 1988

Inflammation and Trauma

Author Affiliations

San Francisco

Arch Surg. 1988;123(12):1517. doi:10.1001/archsurg.1988.01400360087014

In this month's Archives, Nuytinck and his coinvestigators1 review in depth the autopsy findings in 35 cases of patients who died after severe injury. They point out there is a pathologic accumulation of polymorphonuclear leukocytes and abnormal organ weights in these patients. Although the investigators have exercised a fair amount of restraint in their conclusions, they hypothesize that "ARDS [adult respiratory distress syndrome] See also p 1519. and MOF [multiple organ failure] are the results of a generalized and massive activation of inflammatory mediators." They focus particularly on polymorphonuclear leukocytes and complement. I have no doubt in the validity of the observations made in this particular study; however, one must exercise some caution in assigning cause and effect. One can also learn from earlier observations.

In August 1917, the Medical Research Committee of Great Britain appointed a special investigation committee to undertake the coordination of inquiries into surgical shock