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Hoffmann, R. A wiki for the life sciences where authorship matters. Nature Genetics (2008)

Pathogenesis of hypotension in septic shock: correlation of circulating phospholipase A2 levels with circulatory collapse.

Circulating phospholipase A2 ( PLA2) has been recognized as a mediator of circulatory collapse in experimental endotoxic shock. To assess the role of serum PLA2 in septic shock in man, we determined serum PLA2 profiles in a prospective study in 12 patients with septic shock. During the hypotensive phase of sepsis, serum PLA2 levels were consistently elevated as high as 33,428 U/ml (normal range 115 +/- 12 [SE]; n = 101). In all 12 patients, PLA2 levels correlated directly with the magnitude and duration of circulatory collapse (p less than .001), with a progressive fall of serum PLA2 levels during convalescence. In contrast, serum PLA2 levels in patients with cardiogenic shock secondary to myocardial infarction remained low. In pancreatitis, PLA2 levels paralleled fluctuations of serum amylase and lipase, whereas in septic shock without pancreatic involvement, PLA2 changes were discordant with changes in pancreatic enzymes. As well, septic shock serum PLA2 failed to crossreact by radioimmunoassay with antiserum against human pancreatic PLA2. These data are consistent with an extrapancreatic source of intravascular PLA2 release during sepsis. Since endogenous serum PLA2 levels correlate directly with the magnitude of hypotension in both experimental endotoxic shock and clinical septic shock, and since parenteral administration of purified exogenous PLA2 reproduces hypotension in experimental models, we conclude that high levels of intravascular PLA2 may contribute similarly to the circulatory collapse in septic shock in man.[1]


  1. Pathogenesis of hypotension in septic shock: correlation of circulating phospholipase A2 levels with circulatory collapse. Vadas, P., Pruzanski, W., Stefanski, E., Sternby, B., Mustard, R., Bohnen, J., Fraser, I., Farewell, V., Bombardier, C. Crit. Care Med. (1988) [Pubmed]
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