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April 1996

Monocyte Tumor Necrosis Factor Receptor Levels as a Predictor of Risk in Human Sepsis

Author Affiliations

From the Department of Surgery, Cornell University Medical College, New York, NY. Dr Moldawer is now with the Department of Surgery, University of Florida College of Medicine, Gainesville.

Arch Surg. 1996;131(4):434-437. doi:10.1001/archsurg.1996.01430160092020

Objective:  To assess peripheral blood monocyte tumor necrosis factor receptor (TNFR) levels and plasma soluble tumor necrosis factor receptor (sTNFR) concentrations in critically ill patients with sepsis syndrome.

Design:  Prospective, descriptive cohort study with no interventions.

Setting:  Surgical intensive care unit of a tertiary-care hospital associated with a university medical school.

Patients:  Twenty-one patients with a documented source of infection who met currently accepted criteria for sepsis syndrome/septic shock.

Main Outcome Measures:  Plasma sTNFR p55 and p75 values were quantified by enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay, and monocyte TNFR levels were assessed by fluorescence flow cytometry after the monocytes were stained with biotinylated human recombinant TNF-α and streptavidin-phycoerythrin.

Results:  Compared with healthy controls, plasma sTNFR p55 and p75 values were significantly higher (P<.01) in both surviving and nonsurviving patients with sepsis; in nonsurviving patients with sepsis, however, only sTNFR p55 values were significantly (P<.05) higher than in surviving patients with sepsis. By contrast, monocytes from the nonsurviving patients with sepsis manifested a significant (P<.01) and sustained (up to 4 days) decrease in cell surface TNFR values compared with either the normal controls or the surviving patients with sepsis.

Conclusions:  Assessment of monocyte surface TNFR values may provide a rapid prognostic indicator for patients with sepsis who are at increased risk of death.(Arch Surg. 1996;131:434-437)

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