Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Early changes in liver function could indicate life-threatening infection

Date:
November 13, 2012
Source:
Public Library of Science
Summary:
Early changes in liver function detected by novel techniques can identify severe infection (sepsis) hours after onset and so could have important implications for the treatment of patients who are critically ill, according to a new study.

Early changes in liver function detected by novel techniques can identify severe infection (sepsis) hours after onset and so could have important implications for the treatment of patients who are critically ill, according to a groundbreaking study by European researchers published in this week's PLOS Medicine.

Almost half of all people who develop severe sepsis die as this life-threatening condition often develops quickly and is often diagnosed too late to save the patient's life.

In this study, the authors from Austria, Germany, and the UK, led by Peter Recknagel from Jena University Hospital in Germany, used experimental laboratory work in cell cultures, genetically modified mice and rats, and studies carried out in critically ill patients to shed light on the mechanisms behind severe sepsis.

They found that in animal models, liver dysfunction is an early sign of sepsis and that a process known as PI3K signalling (which is involved in several immune processes) plays a crucial role in the development of liver dysfunction. The authors also found that all aspects of detoxification by the liver are affected during sepsis, a finding which suggests that clinical outcomes are linked to the severity of these liver changes.

The clinical information included in the study from 48 patients with severe sepsis also supports the finding from the animal models and suggests that liver function tests might help in the early diagnosis of sepsis and also provide information about possible clinical outcomes. As many medicines are broken down in the liver, these findings suggest that giving certain drugs to patients with severe sepsis may further damage the liver.

The authors explain their findings: "Liver dysfunction is an early and commonplace event in the rat model of sepsis studied here; PI3K signalling seems to play a crucial role. All aspects of hepatic biotransformation are affected, with severity relating to subsequent prognosis."

They continue: "Detected changes significantly precede conventional markers and are reflected by early alterations in plasma bile acids."

The authors conclude; "These observations carry important implications for the diagnosis of liver dysfunction and pharmacotherapy in the critically ill. Further clinical work is necessary to extend these concepts into clinical practice."

In an accompanying Perspective, John Marshall, a critical care expert from the University of Toronto (uninvolved in the study), says: "The hybrid translational model embodied in the work reported here by Bauer and colleagues not only provides a valuable new insight into the pathogenesis of liver derangements in sepsis, but even more importantly, establishes a model that should be welcomed and embraced by scientists working in the field."


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Public Library of Science. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. Peter Recknagel, Falk A. Gonnert, Martin Westermann, Sandro Lambeck, Amelie Lupp, Alain Rudiger, Alex Dyson, Jane E. Carrι, Andreas Kortgen, Christoph Krafft, Jόrgen Popp, Christoph Sponholz, Valentin Fuhrmann, Ingrid Hilger, Ralf A. Claus, Niels C. Riedemann, Reinhard Wetzker, Mervyn Singer, Michael Trauner, Michael Bauer. Liver Dysfunction and Phosphatidylinositol-3-Kinase Signalling in Early Sepsis: Experimental Studies in Rodent Models of Peritonitis. PLoS Medicine, 2012; 9 (11): e1001338 DOI: 10.1371/journal.pmed.1001338

Cite This Page:

Public Library of Science. "Early changes in liver function could indicate life-threatening infection." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 13 November 2012. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/11/121113174910.htm>.
Public Library of Science. (2012, November 13). Early changes in liver function could indicate life-threatening infection. ScienceDaily. Retrieved July 24, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/11/121113174910.htm
Public Library of Science. "Early changes in liver function could indicate life-threatening infection." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/11/121113174910.htm (accessed July 24, 2014).

Share This




More Health & Medicine News

Thursday, July 24, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

New Painkiller Designed To Discourage Abuse: Will It Work?

New Painkiller Designed To Discourage Abuse: Will It Work?

Newsy (July 24, 2014) — The FDA approved Targiniq ER on Wednesday, a painkiller designed to keep users from abusing it. Like any new medication, however, it has doubters. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Doctor At Forefront Of Fighting Ebola Outbreak Gets Ebola

Doctor At Forefront Of Fighting Ebola Outbreak Gets Ebola

Newsy (July 24, 2014) — Sheik Umar Khan has treated many of the people infected in the Ebola outbreak, and now he's become one of them. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Condemned Man's US Execution Takes Nearly Two Hours

Condemned Man's US Execution Takes Nearly Two Hours

AFP (July 24, 2014) — America's death penalty debate raged Thursday after it took nearly two hours for Arizona to execute a prisoner who lost a Supreme Court battle challenging the experimental lethal drug cocktail. Duration: 00:55 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
China's Ageing Millions Look Forward to Bleak Future

China's Ageing Millions Look Forward to Bleak Future

AFP (July 24, 2014) — China's elderly population is expanding so quickly that children struggle to look after them, pushing them to do something unexpected in Chinese society- move their parents into a nursing home. Duration: 02:07 Video provided by AFP
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:
from the past week

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