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Immunomodulation strategies in the critically ill 

Immunomodulation strategies in the critically ill
Immunomodulation strategies in the critically ill

Aline B. Maddux

and Gordon R. Bernard

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date: 21 May 2022

Severe sepsis is a hyperimmune response to an infectious stimulus resulting in a surge of cytokines and mediators of inflammation. High circulating levels of pro-inflammatory cytokines lead to shock, multiple organ failure, and death in septic patients. It has been recognized that patients with sepsis progress into a state of immune paralysis characterized by immune cell apoptosis and high levels of anti-inflammatory cytokines… Anti-inflammatory cytokines suppress production of pro-inflammatory cytokines and inhibit monocytes from presenting antigens to other immune cells. Immune paralysis probably leads to the patient’s inability to clear infections resulting in the delayed mortality observed in some septic patients. Beneficial therapies for sepsis are limited to the mechanical eradication of the source of infection, antibiotics, the judicious use of fluids to support organ perfusion, and oxygen supplementation. Strategies to counteract the hyper- and hypo-immune phases of sepsis have been tried thus far with only minimal success.

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