Introduction: Patients subject to major surgery, suffering sepsis, major trauma, or following cardiopulmonary bypass exhibit a systemic inflammatory response. This inflammatory response involves a complex array of inflammatory polypeptide molecules known as cytokines. It is well accepted that the loss of local control of the release of these cytokines leads to systemic inflammation and potentially deleterious consequences including the Systemic Inflammatory Response Syndrome, Multi-Organ Dysfunction Syndrome, shock and death.
Methods: The Medline database was searched for literature on mechanisms involved in the development of SIRS and potential targets for modifying the inflammatory response. We focus on the novel therapy of cytokine adsorption as a promising removal technology.
Results: Accumulating data from human studies and experimental animal models suggests that both pro- and anti- inflammatory cytokines are released following a variety of initiating stimuli including endotoxin release, complement activation, ischaemia reperfusion injury and others.
Discussion: Pro-and anti-inflammatory cytokines interact in a complex and unpredictable manner to influence the immune system and eventually cause multiple end organ effects. Cytokine adsorption therapy provides a potential solution to improving outcomes following Systemic Inflammatory Response Syndrome.
Keywords: SIRS; cytokine; inflammatory response; syndrome; systemic.