POSTOPERATIVE PROBLEMS: Edited by Rupert PearseThe perioperative immune responseO’Dwyer, Michael J.a,b; Owen, Helen C.a; Torrance, Hew D.T.a,b,c Author Information aCentre for Translational Medicine and Therapeutics, William Harvey Research Institute, Barts and the London School of Medicine, Queen Mary University of London bAdult Critical Care Unit, Royal London Hospital, Barts Health NHS Trust cCentre for Trauma Sciences, Blizard Institute, Barts and the London School of Medicine, Queen Mary University of London, London, United Kingdom Correspondence to Dr Michael J. O’Dwyer, MB, PhD, Adult Critical Care Unit, 4th Floor, Main Tower, Royal London Hospital, Barts Health NHS Trust, London E1 1BB, United Kingdom. Tel: +44 20 3594 0346; fax: +44 20 3594 3140; e-mail: [email protected] Current Opinion in Critical Care: August 2015 - Volume 21 - Issue 4 - p 336-342 doi: 10.1097/MCC.0000000000000213 Buy Metrics Abstract Purpose of review A host of immune modulators are now available in clinical practice. The perioperative period is characterized by profound alterations in host immunity, which can result in poor outcomes, which include infection, cancer recurrence and organ failure. Manipulation of the perioperative immune response has the potential to improve outcomes. A complete understanding of the mechanisms and clinical consequences of altered immune function in this setting is therefore imperative. Recent findings Recent in-vivo data have emerged which further our understanding of the interaction between tissue damage, immune modulation and clinical outcomes by utilizing novel laboratory techniques capable of monitoring single-cell immune signatures. Traditional gene expression assays have continued to demonstrate their utility and have been instrumental in defining the host response to perioperative allogeneic blood transfusion. These mechanistic studies are complemented by large clinical studies describing associations between anaesthetic modalities and immune-related outcomes. Summary Laboratory techniques are now available that can monitor the perioperative immune response and could be further developed to introduce personalized care pathways. Consideration must also be given to anaesthesia techniques and perioperative treatments that, although not immediately harmful, may be associated with poor outcomes temporally distant from the treatment, secondary to induced immunosuppression. Copyright © 2015 YEAR Wolters Kluwer Health, Inc. All rights reserved.