The involvement of cytokines in trauma still has not been satisfactorily elucidated. The development of multiorgan failure, the very serious complication of multiple truma with high mortality, should also be controlled by cytoknes, endotoxin other mediators. We therefore prospectively studied 42 consecutive patients with multiple traums admitted from June to December 1992 to the Research Institute for Traumatology and Surgery in Brno. Study patients were characterized by Injury Severity Score (ISS), Revised Trauma Score TRISS methodology. In all patients, tumor necrosis factor alpha (TNF-α) and interleukin (IL) 1, 2 6 levels were investigated. Of the cytokines, only IL-6 levels were elevated at admission and significant correlation with ISS was observed (r = 0735; p > 0.001). Multiple organ failure (MOF) developed in 14 patients (seven died) and it was not possible to predict this MOF development nor survival by initial cytokine levels. A significant difference was observed when IL-6 concentrations one day before death (423 ± 105 pg/mL) were compared with the highest concentrations in MOF survivors (112 ± 71 pg/mL; p > 0.001). This difference was found also for TNF (528 ± 314 pg/mL vs. 216 ± 165 pg/mL; p > 0.05). None of six MOF patients with IL-6 > 400 pg/mL survived. In conclusion, the IL-6 and TNF-α levels seem to play a significant role in multiple trauma and their late elevation in patients with MOF conveeyed a poor prognosis. A significant correlation between initial IL-6 levels and ISS was observed. Other cytokines did not show dynamic changes durig the study.
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