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Clin Diagn Lab Immunol. 2004 Jan;11(1):161-7.

Cytokine production and monocyte HLA-DR expression as predictors of outcome for patients with community-acquired severe infections.

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  • 1Department of Internal Medicine, Patras University Hospital, School of Medicine, 26500 Patras, Greece.


This study was performed to evaluate the impact of pro- and anti-inflammatory molecules and human leukocyte antigen DR (HLA-DR) expression as markers of immune status for the final outcome of septic patients. The study included 30 patients with severe sepsis due to community-acquired infections. Concentrations of tumor necrosis factor alpha (TNF-alpha), interleukin-6 (IL-6), IL-8, IL-10, and transforming growth factor beta1 (TGF-beta1) in serum, as well as monocyte HLA-DR expression, were determined on admission and on days 3, 10, 13, and 17 during hospitalization. Of the 30 patients enrolled, 13 survived, while 17 died during their hospital stay. All patients had significantly lower HLA-DR expression and higher pro- and anti-inflammatory cytokine levels than healthy individuals. HLA-DR expression was significantly decreased in nonsurvivors at almost all time points. In nonsurvivors, higher levels in serum of TNF-alpha on days 13 and 17; IL-6 levels on day 3; and IL-10 on days 3, 10, and 13 were found. Baseline levels of TGF-beta1 were significantly higher in survivors. Independent risk factors of mortality were IL-10 levels on days 3 and 10, while monocyte HLA-DR expression on admission was a good predictor for survival. Several pro- and anti-inflammatory cytokines are oversynthesized during severe infections, especially in patients with a poor outcome. Monocyte HLA-DR expression is an early and constant predictive marker for survival in severe sepsis, while serum IL-10 levels on days 3 and 10 have negative prognostic value for the final outcome.

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