Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

New Study Could Lead To Better Treatment Of Septic Shock

Date:
April 12, 2001
Source:
Ohio University
Summary:
A new study of septic shock could lead to a better treatment for the illness, which kills 100,000 Americans each year and is the leading cause of death in hospital intensive care units.

ATHENS, Ohio – A new study of septic shock could lead to a better treatment for the illness, which kills 100,000 Americans each year and is the leading cause of death in hospital intensive care units.

Related Articles


A healthy immune system is the first line of defense against bacterial infections in the bloodstream. But in about 200,000 of those cases per year, the immune system runs out of control, turning against the body in an attack known as septic shock. Those afflicted initially may experience flu-like symptoms followed by a drop in blood pressure, which can contribute to tissue and organ damage. Ohio University scientists studying the mechanisms that cause blood pressure to plummet in these patients have found a possible culprit: a dangerous interaction of nitric oxide – a natural compound involved in regulating blood circulation – and free radicals, harmful chemical byproducts created during an immune system response. Both are produced in abundance during septic shock.

Studies suggest that the potent combination produces a substance called peroxynitrite, which causes a normal immune response to go haywire, damaging blood vessels and triggering blood vessel leakage. This lowers blood pressure in patients with septic shock, said Richard Klabunde, lead author of the study and associate professor of biomedical sciences in the College of Osteopathic Medicine, who recently presented the work at the annual meeting of the Microcirculatory Society in Orlando, Fla.

In a normal immune response, cells release platelet activating factor (PAF). The chemical prompts inflamation, isolating invading bacteria so they can be destroyed. But scientists have observed that in septic shock patients, PAF plays a different role – it causes blood vessel leakage.

The new study suggests that a mixture of high levels of nitric oxide and free radicals must be present for PAF to wreak such damage on the circulatory system. Researchers used two drugs to test what impact nitric oxide or free radicals have on PAF-induced vessel leakage. One drug inhibits the formation of nitric oxide; the other scavenges free radicals. The researchers found that by blocking the production of either the nitric oxide or free radicals, they could reduce blood vessel leakage.

"If we block either one, we have this effect," Klabunde said. "This means that both are important and suggests that they are both interacting to produce a substance that causes the vascular leakage."

The drugs used in the animal study are not approved for human use, Klabunde said, so a new therapy would need to be developed for patients with septic shock.

To combat the condition, hospitals currently administer drugs and fluids to patients to maintain blood pressure and use antibiotics to fight the infection. But antibiotics can backfire, Klabunde noted. As the bacteria that cause septic shock die, they may release a toxin into the bloodstream, making the situation worse.

No single drug exists to combat septic shock, and it's not clear why some patients survive it while others don't, he added. In related research, Klabunde is examining how high doses of antioxidants – which scavenge free radicals in healthy bodies – may protect the heart during septic shock.

Co-author of the study is Denise Anderson, a research technician in the university's College of Osteopathic Medicine. The research is funded by the Ohio Valley Affiliate of the American Heart Association.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Ohio University. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

Ohio University. "New Study Could Lead To Better Treatment Of Septic Shock." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 12 April 2001. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2001/04/010412080818.htm>.
Ohio University. (2001, April 12). New Study Could Lead To Better Treatment Of Septic Shock. ScienceDaily. Retrieved November 22, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2001/04/010412080818.htm
Ohio University. "New Study Could Lead To Better Treatment Of Septic Shock." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2001/04/010412080818.htm (accessed November 22, 2014).

Share This


More From ScienceDaily



More Health & Medicine News

Saturday, November 22, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

WFP: Ebola Risks Heightened Among Women Throughout Africa

WFP: Ebola Risks Heightened Among Women Throughout Africa

AFP (Nov. 21, 2014) Having children has always been a frightening prospect in Sierra Leone, the world's most dangerous place to give birth, but Ebola has presented an alarming new threat for expectant mothers. Duration: 00:37 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Could Your Genes Be The Reason You're Single?

Could Your Genes Be The Reason You're Single?

Newsy (Nov. 21, 2014) Researchers in Beijing discovered a gene called 5-HTA1, and carriers are reportedly 20 percent more likely to be single. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Raw: Paralyzed Marine Walks With Robotic Braces

Raw: Paralyzed Marine Walks With Robotic Braces

AP (Nov. 21, 2014) Marine Corps officials say a special operations officer left paralyzed by a sniper's bullet in Afghanistan walked using robotic leg braces in a ceremony to award him a Bronze Star. (Nov. 21) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Milestone Birthdays Can Bring Existential Crisis, Study Says

Milestone Birthdays Can Bring Existential Crisis, Study Says

Newsy (Nov. 21, 2014) Researchers find that as people approach new decades in their lives they make bigger life decisions. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories


Health & Medicine

Mind & Brain

Living & Well

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins