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      Does N-Acetyl-L-Cysteine Influence Cytokine Response During Early Human Septic Shock?

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      Chest

      Elsevier BV

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          Abstract

          To assess the effects of adjunctive treatment with N-acetyl-L-cysteine (NAC) on hemodynamics, oxygen transport variables, and plasma levels of cytokines in patients with septic shock. Prospective, randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled study. A 24-bed medicosurgical ICU in a university hospital. Twenty-two patients included within 4 h of diagnosis of septic shock. Patients were randomly allocated to receive either NAC (150 mg/kg bolus, followed by a continuous infusion of 50 mg/kg over 4 h; n= 12) or placebo (n=10) in addition to standard therapy. Plasma concentrations of tumor necrosis factor-alpha (TNF), interleukin (IL)-6, IL-8, IL-10, and soluble tumor necrosis factor-alpha receptor-p55 (sTNFR-p55) were measured by sensitive immunoassays at 0, 2, 4, 6 and 24 h. Pulmonary artery catheter-derived hemodynamics, blood gases, hemoglobin, and arterial lactate were measured at baseline, after infusion (4 h), and at 24 h. NAC improved oxygenation (PaO2/FIO2 ratio, 214+/-97 vs 123+/-86; p<0.05) and static lung compliance (44+/-11 vs 31+/-6 L/cm H2O; p<0.05) at 24 h. NAC had no significant effects on plasma TNF, IL-6, or IL-10 levels, but acutely decreased IL-8 and sTNFR-p55 levels. The administration of NAC had no significant effect on systemic and pulmonary hemodynamics, oxygen delivery, and oxygen consumption. Mortality was similar in both groups (control, 40%; NAC, 42%) but survivors who received NAC had shorter ventilator requirement (7+/-2 days vs 20+/-7 days; p<0.05) and were discharged earlier from the ICU (13+/-2 days vs 32+/-9 days; p<0.05). In this small cohort of patients with early septic shock, short-term IV infusion of NAC was well-tolerated, improved respiratory function, and shortened ICU stay in survivors. The attenuated production of IL-8, a potential mediator of septic lung injury, may have contributed to the lung-protective effects of NAC.

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          Author and article information

          Journal
          Chest
          Chest
          Elsevier BV
          00123692
          June 1998
          June 1998
          : 113
          : 6
          : 1616-1624
          Article
          10.1378/chest.113.6.1616
          9631802
          © 1998

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