What is the role of cytokines in the pathogenesis of peritonitis and abdominal sepsis?

Updated: Jul 23, 2019
  • Author: Brian J Daley, MD, MBA, FACS, FCCP, CNSC; Chief Editor: Praveen K Roy, MD, AGAF  more...
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The role of cytokines in the mediation of the body's immune response and their role in the development of the systemic inflammatory response syndrome (SIRS) and multiple organ failure (MOF) have been a major focus of research over the past decade. Comparatively few data exist about the magnitude of the intraperitoneal/abscess cytokine response and implications for the host. Existing data suggest that bacterial peritonitis is associated with an immense intraperitoneal compartmentalized cytokine response. Higher levels of certain cytokines (ie, tumor necrosis factor-alpha [TNF-alpha], interleukin [IL]-6) have been associated with worse outcomes, as well as secondary (uncontrolled) activation of the systemic inflammatory cascade.

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