Inflammatory response in trauma patients: are there ways to decrease the inflammatory reaction?

Curr Opin Anaesthesiol. 2020 Apr;33(2):253-258. doi: 10.1097/ACO.0000000000000842.


Purpose of review: Trauma patients are considered a complex population of patients in emergency medicine and need extensive, specialized therapy. One major part is the prevention and treatment of the inflammatory response, which occurs in patients after severe injury resulting in complications like endotheliopathy. Likely as a consequence, coagulopathy occurs. Sterile inflammation is hard to address, especially because of the lack of a single activator. Moreover, it is a complex composition of factors that lead to a pathologic immune response. Our understanding of these patterns is increasing, but the complete pathophysiologic changes have yet to be investigated. Therefore, there is no specific target to treat inflammatory response in trauma patients at the moment.

Recent findings: There is increasing knowledge of the pathways and mediators that are responsible for the inflammatory response in patients after severe trauma. The endothelial glycocalyx has been identified to be an integral part of these mechanisms. There have been several new therapeutic approaches to diminish the inflammatory response.

Summary: Our increasing understanding of the immune system have led to new potential therapeutic perspectives. All of these approaches need further research to be validated. As the current therapies are based on empirical strategies and have not changed much over the years, new treatment options would be an important progress.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Humans
  • Inflammation / etiology
  • Inflammation / prevention & control*
  • Wounds and Injuries / complications*
  • Wounds and Injuries / therapy