Early decreased neutrophil responsiveness is related to late onset sepsis in multitrauma patients : an international cohort study

Groeneveld, Kathelijne M. ; Koenderman, Leo ; Warren, Brian L. ; Jol, Saskia ; Leenen, Luke P. H. ; Hietbrink, Falco (2017-07-30)

CITATION: Groeneveld, K. M., et al. 2017. Early decreased neutrophil responsiveness is related to late onset sepsis in multitrauma patients : an international cohort study. PLoS ONE, 12(6):e0180145, doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0180145.

The original publication is available at https://journals.plos.org/plosone


Background: Severe trauma can lead to the development of infectious complications after several days, such as sepsis. Early identification of patients at risk will aid anticipating these complications. The aim of this study was to test the relation between the acute (<24 hours) inflammatory response after injury measured by neutrophil responsiveness and the late (>5 days) development of septic complications and validate this in different trauma populations. Methods and findings: Two prospective, observational, cohort series in the Netherlands and South Africa, consisting of severely injured trauma patients. Neutrophil responsiveness by fMLF-induced active FcγRII was measured in whole blood flowcytometry, as read out for the systemic immune response within hours after trauma. Sepsis was scored daily. Ten of the 36 included Dutch patients developed septic shock. In patients with septic shock, neutrophils showed a lower expression of fMLF-induced active FcγRII immediately after trauma when compared to patients without septic shock (P = 0.001). In South Africa 11 of 73 included patients developed septic shock. Again neutrophils showed lower expression of fMLF induced active FcγRII (P = 0.001). In the combined cohort, all patients who developed septic shock demonstrated a decreased neutrophil responsiveness. Conclusions: Low responsiveness of neutrophils for the innate stimulus fMLF immediately after trauma preceded the development of septic shock during admission by almost a week and did not depend on a geographical/racial background, hospital protocols and health care facilities. Decreased neutrophil responsiveness appears to be a prerequisite for septic shock after trauma. This might enable anticipation of this severe complication in trauma patients.

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