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      Science review: Role of coagulation protease cascades in sepsis

      1 , , 2

      Critical Care

      BioMed Central

      inflammatory balance, protein C, sepsis, tissue factor

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          Cellular signaling by proteases of the blood coagulation cascade through members of the protease-activated receptor (PAR) family can profoundly impact on the inflammatory balance in sepsis. The coagulation initiation reaction on tissue factor expressing cells signals through PAR1 and PAR2, leading to enhanced inflammation. The anticoagulant protein C pathway has potent anti-inflammatory effects, and activated protein C signals through PAR1 upon binding to the endothelial protein C receptor. Activation of the coagulation cascade and the downstream endothelial cell localized anticoagulant pathway thus have opposing effects on systemic inflammation. This dichotomy is of relevance for the interpretation of preclinical and clinical data that document nonuniform responses to anticoagulant strategies in sepsis therapy.

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          Most cited references 51

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          Thrombin signalling and protease-activated receptors.

          How does the coagulation protease thrombin regulate cellular behaviour? The protease-activated receptors (PARs) provide one answer. In concert with the coagulation cascade, these receptors provide an elegant mechanism linking mechanical information in the form of tissue injury or vascular leakage to cellular responses. Roles for PARs are beginning to emerge in haemostasis and thrombosis, inflammation, and perhaps even blood vessel development.
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            Chemokines and disease.

            We examine here several diseases that are associated with inappropriate activation of the chemokine network. Detailed comment has been restricted to pathological states for which there are compelling data either from clinical observations or animal models. These include cardiovascular disease, allergic inflammatory disease, transplantation, neuroinflammation, cancer and HIV-associated disease. Discussion focuses on therapeutic directions in which the rapidly evolving chemokine field appears to be headed.
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              Caring for the critically ill patient. High-dose antithrombin III in severe sepsis: a randomized controlled trial.

              Activation of the coagulation system and depletion of endogenous anticoagulants are frequently found in patients with severe sepsis and septic shock. Diffuse microthrombus formation may induce organ dysfunction and lead to excess mortality in septic shock. Antithrombin III may provide protection from multiorgan failure and improve survival in severely ill patients. To determine if high-dose antithrombin III (administered within 6 hours of onset) would provide a survival advantage in patients with severe sepsis and septic shock. Double-blind, placebo-controlled, multicenter phase 3 clinical trial in patients with severe sepsis (the KyberSept Trial) was conducted from March 1997 through January 2000. A total of 2314 adult patients were randomized into 2 equal groups of 1157 to receive either intravenous antithrombin III (30 000 IU in total over 4 days) or a placebo (1% human albumin). All-cause mortality 28 days after initiation of study medication. Overall mortality at 28 days in the antithrombin III treatment group was 38.9% vs 38.7% in the placebo group (P =.94). Secondary end points, including mortality at 56 and 90 days and survival time in the intensive care unit, did not differ between the antithrombin III and placebo groups. In the subgroup of patients who did not receive concomitant heparin during the 4-day treatment phase (n = 698), the 28-day mortality was nonsignificantly lower in the antithrombin III group (37.8%) than in the placebo group (43.6%) (P =.08). This trend became significant after 90 days (n = 686; 44.9% for antithrombin III group vs 52.5% for placebo group; P =.03). In patients receiving antithrombin III and concomitant heparin, a significantly increased bleeding incidence was observed (23.8% for antithrombin III group vs 13.5% for placebo group; P<.001). High-dose antithrombin III therapy had no effect on 28-day all-cause mortality in adult patients with severe sepsis and septic shock when administered within 6 hours after the onset. High-dose antithrombin III was associated with an increased risk of hemorrhage when administered with heparin. There was some evidence to suggest a treatment benefit of antithrombin III in the subgroup of patients not receiving concomitant heparin.

                Author and article information

                Crit Care
                Critical Care
                BioMed Central (London )
                1 October 2002
                : 7
                : 2
                : 123-129
                [1 ]Senior Research Associate, Department of Immunology C204, The Scripps Research Institute, La Jolla, California USA
                [2 ]Associate Professor, Department of Immunology C204, The Scripps Research Institute, La Jolla, California USA
                Copyright © 2003 BioMed Central Ltd

                Emergency medicine & Trauma

                inflammatory balance, protein c, sepsis, tissue factor


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