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Minerva Anestesiol. 2000 May;66(5):337-42.

Cytopathic hypoxia. A concept to explain organ dysfunction in sepsis.

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Critical Care Medicine, Division University of Pittsburgh Medical School, USA.


The most common cause of death in patients with sepsis is the multiple organ dysfunction syndrome (MODS). One important factor underlying the pathogenesis of MODS may be sepsis-induced alterations in cellular energy metabolism due to acquired intrinsic derangements in cellular respiration, a phenomenon that might be called "cytopathic hypoxia". A number of different biochemical mechanisms have been postulated to account for cytopathic hypoxia in sepsis, including reversible inhibition of cytochrome oxidase by nitric oxide, irreversible inhibition of one or more mitochondrial respiratory complexes by peroxynitrite, and activation of the nuclear enzyme, poly-(ADP-ribosyl)-polymerase.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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