Effects of mud-pack treatment on plasma cytokine and soluble adhesion molecule levels in healthy volunteers

Clin Chim Acta. 2001 Dec;314(1-2):209-14. doi: 10.1016/s0009-8981(01)00697-0.


Background: The suggested hypothesis of a direct anti-inflammatory property of mud-pack treatment has led us to speculate that its action on the cytokine network might counteract the heat-stress-related effects on platelet and endothelial cell function often reported following hot-spring baths. Therefore, the present study was designed to investigate the effects of a cycle of 12 daily mud-pack treatments on bio-humoral markers of inflammation, as well as on markers of in vivo platelet and/or endothelial cell activation, in plasma samples obtained from healthy volunteers.

Methods: Blood samples were obtained before (T(0)), at the end of the first treatment (T(1)) and after a cycle of 12 daily mud-pack treatments (T(2)). Plasma cytokines (TNF-alpha IL-1beta, and IL-6) and adhesion molecules (sP-selectin, sE-selectin and sVCAM) levels, as well as hematocrit and complete and differential blood cell counts were determined at every time point.

Results: Plasma sP-selectin levels were not modified during treatment, as were not sE-selectin or sVCAM. Similarly, IL-1beta and TNF-alpha levels were unchanged through a 12 daily mud-pack treatment. Conversely, plasma IL-6 levels were significantly lowered at the end of a 20-min 47 degrees C mud-pack treatment (p<0.01).

Conclusions: The lack of effects on in vivo platelet and/or endothelial cell activation suggests that hot mud-pack treatment might be used as a relatively safe procedure in patients with atherothrombotic disorders.

Publication types

  • Clinical Trial

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Biomarkers
  • Cell Adhesion Molecules / blood*
  • Cytokines / blood*
  • E-Selectin / blood
  • Endothelium, Vascular / physiology
  • Female
  • Hematocrit
  • Humans
  • Hyperthermia, Induced
  • Interleukin-1 / blood
  • Interleukin-6 / blood
  • Leukocyte Count
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Mud Therapy*
  • P-Selectin / blood
  • Platelet Activation / physiology
  • Platelet Count
  • Reference Values
  • Tumor Necrosis Factor-alpha / metabolism


  • Biomarkers
  • Cell Adhesion Molecules
  • Cytokines
  • E-Selectin
  • Interleukin-1
  • Interleukin-6
  • P-Selectin
  • Tumor Necrosis Factor-alpha