Saturday, September 01, 2012


Diagnostic methods in sepsis: the need of speed.

Diagnostic methods in sepsis: the need of speed.

August 2012


Laboratory Specialist, Instituto de Química, Universidade de São Paulo, São Paulo, SP, Brazil.


Keywords: Sepsis, methods, cytokines.


Sepsis is a common condition encountered in hospital environments. There is no effective treatment for sepsis, and it remains an important cause of death at intensive care units. This study aimed to discuss some methods that are available in clinics, and tests that have been recently developed for the diagnosis of sepsis.


A systematic review was performed through the analysis of the following descriptors: sepsis, diagnostic methods, biological markers, and cytokines.


The deleterious effects of sepsis are caused by an imbalance between the invasiveness of the pathogen and the ability of the host to mount an effective immune response. Consequently, the host's immune surveillance fails to eliminate the pathogen, allowing it to spread. Moreover, there is a pro-inflammatory mediator release, inappropriate activation of the coagulation and complement cascades, leading to dysfunction of multiple organs and systems. The difficulty achieve total recovery of the patient is explainable. There is an increased incidence of sepsis worldwide due to factors such as aging population, larger number of surgeries, and number of microorganisms resistant to existing antibiotics.

CONCLUSION: The search for new diagnostic markers associated with increased risk of sepsis development and molecules that can be correlated to certain steps of sepsis is becoming necessary. This would allow for earlier diagnosis, facilitate patient prognosis characterization, and prediction of possible evolution of each case. All other markers are regrettably constrained to research units.

SciELO Brazil

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