Role of the Complement Cascade in Severe Sepsis

  • L. G. Thijs
  • C. E. Hack
Part of the Update in Intensive Care and Emergency Medicine book series (UICM, volume 16)


Activation of the complement system has been implicated as one of the possible mechanisms involved in the extremely complex pathophysiology of septic shock. Bacteria and their products like endotoxin can activate this system even in the absence of antibodies [1]. Complement activation results in the generation of several peptides which have strong biological properties and are called anaphylatoxins [2], Hypotension, leukopenia and increased pulmonary permeability are features of systemic complement activation which are also observed in human septic shock. In this chapter, we will review the available evidence for the role of activation of the complement system in severe sepsis, and some of its sequelae.


Septic Shock Severe Sepsis Acute Lung Injury Complement Activation Septic Patient 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


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© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 1992

Authors and Affiliations

  • L. G. Thijs
  • C. E. Hack

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