Endothelium dependent vasomotion and in vitro markers of endothelial repair in patients with severe sepsis : an observational study
van Craenenbroeck, Emeline M.
Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences
Engineering sciences. Technology
, 8 p.
University of Antwerp
Background: Outcome in sepsis is mainly defined by the degree of organ failure, for which endothelial dysfunction at the macro- and microvascular level is an important determinant. In this study we evaluated endothelial function in patients with severe sepsis using cellular endothelial markers and in vivo assessment of reactive hyperaemia. Materials and Methods: Patients with severe sepsis (n = 30) and 15 age-and gender-matched healthy volunteers were included in this study. Using flow cytometry, CD34+/KDR+ endothelial progenitor cells (EPC), CD31+ T-cells, and CD31+/CD42b- endothelial microparticles (EMP) were enumerated. Migratory capacity of cultured circulating angiogenic cells (CAC) was assessed in vitro. Endothelial function was determined using peripheral arterial tonometry at the fingertip. Results: In patients with severe sepsis, a lower number of EPC, CD31+ T-cells and a decreased migratory capacity of CAC coincided with a blunted reactive hyperaemia response compared to healthy subjects. The number of EMP, on the other hand, did not differ. The presence of organ failure at admission (SOFA score) was inversely related with the number of CD31+ T-cells. Furthermore, the number of EPC at admission was decreased in patients with progressive organ failure within the first week. Conclusion: In patients with severe sepsis, in vivo measured endothelial dysfunction coincides with lower numbers and reduced function of circulating cells implicated in endothelial repair. Our results suggest that cellular markers of endothelial repair might be valuable in the assessment and evolution of organ dysfunction.