B help surgeons?

B in neutrophils may predict the risk of multiple organ dysfunction syndrome after major surgery.

By | February 15, 2001

Multiple organ dysfunction syndrome (MODS) is a post-operative complication of major surgery and accounts for most of the deaths in surgical intensive care units. MODS develops following severe systemic inflammation mediated by activated neutrophils. NFκB is a transcription factor involved in the signal transduction of many proteins implicated in the pathogenesis of sepsis and thus may have a role in MODS.

In January Annals of Surgery, a team from the Imperial College School of Medicine, London, UK suggests a clinical role for NFκB by showing that high preoperative levels of this factor may predict MODS after major surgery (Ann Surg 2001, 233:70-78).

Sharmila Foulds and colleagues measured the levels of NFκB, in 25 patients undergoing thoracoabdominal aortic aneurysm repair and found a significant difference in preoperative levels between the patients who developed postoperative MODS and those who did not. But there were no differences in the preoperative clinical parameters measured.

Preoperative neutrophil NFκB status may thus be a good marker of postoperative outcome, and therapy aimed at attenuating neutrophil NFκB activation may reduce postoperative sepsis and organ dysfunction.

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