Infection in the intensive care unit alters physiological networks

BMC Bioinformatics. 2009 Sep 17;10 Suppl 9(Suppl 9):S4. doi: 10.1186/1471-2105-10-S9-S4.


Background: Physicians use clinical and physiological data to treat patients every day, and it is essential for treating a patient appropriately. However, medical sources of clinical physiological data are only now starting to find use in bioinformatics research.

Results: We collected 29 types of physiological and clinical data on a minute-by-minute basis from trauma patients in the intensive care unit along with whether they contracted an infection during their stay. Dividing the patients into two groups based on this criterion, we determined that the correlational network amongst pairs of physiological variables changes based on whether the patient contracted an infection.

Conclusion: Examining the variable pairs with the largest change in correlation across groups reveals potential changes in the way our treatments affect the patient's physiology and in how our bodies react to physiological insults. These findings highlight the usefulness of physiological informatics and suggest new relationships to study while also validating previously reported relationships.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Computational Biology / methods*
  • Health Plan Implementation
  • Humans
  • Infections / diagnosis
  • Infections / metabolism
  • Infections / physiopathology*
  • Intensive Care Units*
  • Monitoring, Physiologic*
  • Treatment Outcome