Objective: To investigate whether tumor necrosis factor (TNF) microsatellite polymorphism within the TNF locus is associated with the incidence and outcome of severe postoperative sepsis.
Methods: 122 patients with severe postoperative sepsis were included in this study; 138 local ethnically matched healthy individuals served as controls. Microsatellite TNFc polymorphism within the TNF locus was typed using polymerase chain reaction (PCR) followed by polyacrylamide gel electrophoresis with silver staining.
Results: Microsatellite TNFc polymorphism had two alleles (TNFc1 and TNFc2) and three kinds of genotype (homozygotes TNFc1c1 and TNFc2c2, and heterozygote TNFc1c2). The genotype distribution fit Hardy-Weinberg equilibrium. The frequency of TNFc1 microsatellite allele was significantly higher in patients with severe sepsis (79%) than in healthy individuals (71%) (P < 0.05). The frequency of heterozygote TNFc1c2 was significantly higher in non-surviving patients (46%) with severe sepsis than in survivors (27%) (P < 0.05).
Conclusions: TNFc microsatellite polymorphism is significantly associated with the incidence and outcome of severe postoperative sepsis.