Intensive Care Medicine

, Volume 22, Issue 2, pp 122–128

Circulating adhesion molecules in the critically ill: A comparison between trauma and sepsis patients

  • J. Boldt
  • M. Müller
  • D. Kuhn
  • L. C. Linke
  • G. Hempelmann
Original

DOI: 10.1007/BF01720718

Cite this article as:
Boldt, J., Müller, M., Kuhn, D. et al. Intensive Care Med (1996) 22: 122. doi:10.1007/BF01720718

Abstract

Objective

The time course of circulating adhesion molecules was monitored in traumatized and sepsis patients.

Design

Prospective, descriptive.

Setting

A surgical intensive care unit of a university hospital.

Patients

A total of 30 consecutive critically ill patients suffering either from trauma (n=15) or postoperative sepsis (n=15).

Interventions

All patients were on continuous analgo-sedation and mechanical ventilation.

Measurements and results

From arterial blood samples, plasma levels of soluble adhesion molecules [endothelial leukocyte adhesion molecules (sELAM-1), intercellular adhesion molecule-1 (sICAM-1)], and vascular cell adhesion molecule-1 (sVCAM-1) were measured on the day of admission (trauma patients) or on the day of diagnosis of sepsis (=baseline values), and during the following 5 days. In the trauma group,sELAM-1 (57.9±11.0 ng/ml) andsVCAM-1 (698±93 ng/ml) were within normal ranges at baseline, whereas they were markedly elevated in the sepsis group (sELAM-1: 340±95 ng/ml;sVCAM-1; 1,042±449 ng/ml). In the sepsis patients,sELAM-1 significantly decreased andsVCAM-1 increased, but remained almost unchanged in the trauma patients. Non-survivors showed markedly elevated plasma levels ofsELAM-1 andsVCAM-1.sICAM-1 was elevated in both groups at baseline and was higher in the sepsis group (1,266±261 ng/ml) than in the trauma group. In the septic patients,sICAM-1 increased further (2,022±609 ng/ml) and remained unchanged in the trauma group. All non-survivors showedsICAM-1 plasma levels of >800 ng/ml.

Conclusion

Endothelial damage may result in multiple-organ dysfunction syndrome. Adhesion molecules are considered to be a cornerstone in this process. Trauma patients showed lower plasma levels of circulating adhesion molecules than did sepsis patients indicating more pronounced (inflammatory related) endothelial activation or damage in sepsis. Therapeutic modulation of circulating adhesion molecules may be of benefit to the patients outcome and therefore warrants further study.

Key words

Trauma-sepsis Inflammatory response Soluble adhesion molecules Endothelium Tissue damage Neutrophils 

Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 1996

Authors and Affiliations

  • J. Boldt
    • 1
  • M. Müller
    • 2
  • D. Kuhn
    • 2
  • L. C. Linke
    • 2
  • G. Hempelmann
    • 2
  1. 1.Klinikum der Stadt LudwigshafenAnesthesiology and Intensive Care MedicineLudwigshafenGermany
  2. 2.Department of Anesthesiology andIntensive Care Medicine, Justus-Liebig-UniversityGiessenGermany

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