Researchers identify cause of heart damage in sepsis patients

July 8, 2015, University of Liverpool
Researchers identify cause of heart damage in sepsis patients

Researchers at the University of Liverpool's Institute of Infection and Global Health (IGH) have discovered a common cause of heart damage in patients with sepsis.

Sepsis is the most common cause of death in hospitalised critically ill people and affects up to 18 million people world-wide annually.

The electrical and mechanical malfunctions of the heart have been poorly understood in sepsis, with underdeveloped clinical management strategies, as a consequence. This new discovery, however, promises to benefit a high number of with heart failure or rhythm abnormalities that complicate sepsis.

Extensive cell damage

The team discovered that nuclear proteins, called histones, induce damage to when released into the blood circulation following extensive cell damage in sepsis.

Blood levels of histones, however, are robust biomarkers that can predict which patients are more likely to develop heart complications.

Dr Yasir Alhamdi, from the University's Institute of Infection and Global Health, said: "This has important clinical implications. Firstly, we now provide a much-needed explanation for why cardiac injury markers are high in sepsis.

"Secondly, histone levels in the blood can potentially be used at an early stage to predict which septic patients are at highest risk of developing deadly heart complications. This can improve overall management of patients with sepsis worldwide."

Toxic effects

The research team has also developed and tested specific antibodies that can directly neutralise the toxic effects of histones in the and found that their use can significantly prevent the development of heart complications in sepsis.

Professor Cheng-Hock Toh, from the University's Institute of Infection and Global Health, said: "The translational impact to patients with sepsis can extend beyond biomarker prediction of , to novel targeted treatment for improved survival.

"This discovery could therefore enable us to better stratify patients for more precise and personalised treatment in sepsis."

The study was funded by the British Heart Foundation (BHF) and the National Institute of Health Research (NIHR). The paper, 'Circulating histones are major mediators of cardiac injury in patients with ,' is published in the journal Critical Care Medicine.

Explore further: Scientists discover bacterial cause behind fatal heart complications

More information: "Circulating Histones Are Major Mediators of Cardiac Injury in Patients With Sepsis." Crit Care Med. 2015 Jun 26. www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/26121070

Related Stories

Scientists discover bacterial cause behind fatal heart complications

May 15, 2015
Researchers at the University of Liverpool's Institute of Infection and Global Health have discovered a key cause of life threatening heart complications, conditions that frequently follow severe infections with the bacteria ...

Hospital readmissions for sepsis are highly common, extremely costly

July 8, 2015
The Affordable Care Act created several national initiatives aimed at reducing hospital readmission rates for heart attacks, congestive heart failure and other common high-risk conditions. But there is still no national program ...

Review of global guidelines for sepsis needed

March 20, 2015
Experts are calling for a global review of guidelines used to diagnose sepsis, after a study found one in eight patients with infections severe enough to need admission to an Intensive Care Unit in Australia and New Zealand, ...

Readmissions in severe sepsis are as common as those in heart failure and pneumonia

May 18, 2015
Severe sepsis is a significant cause of rehospitalization along the lines of nationally recognized outcome measures and more commonly discussed conditions such as heart failure (HF) and pneumonia, said Darya Rudym, MD, New ...

Alterations in fatty acid synthesis linked to sepsis inflammation

January 9, 2015
Sepsis is a leading cause of death for patients in intensive care units. The excessive systemic inflammation in individuals with sepsis damages organs and can lead to death. Therapeutic options for sepsis are limited and ...

Approach to deadly sepsis infections continues to vary

September 12, 2014
Treatment practices for patients hospitalised with the potentially fatal infection known as "sepsis" will continue to vary because of individual differences between hospitals and countries, according to University of Adelaide ...

Recommended for you

No sweat required: Team finds hypertension treatment that mimics effect of exercise

October 16, 2018
Couch potatoes rejoice—there might be a way to get the blood pressure lowering benefits of exercise in pill form.

New model suggests cuffless, non-invasive blood pressure monitoring possible using pulse waves

October 16, 2018
A large team of researchers from several institutions in China and the U.S. has developed a model that suggests it should be possible to create a cuffless, non-invasive blood pressure monitor based on measuring pulse waves. ...

Why heart contractions are weaker in those with hypertrophic cardiomyopathy

October 16, 2018
When a young athlete suddenly dies of a heart attack, chances are high that they suffer from familial hypertrophic cardiomyopathy (HCM). Itis the most common genetic heart disease in the US and affects an estimated 1 in 500 ...

Novel genetic study sheds new light on risk of heart attack

October 12, 2018
Loss of a protein that regulates mitochondrial function can greatly increase the risk of myocardial infarction (heart attack), Vanderbilt scientists reported Oct. 3 in the journal eLife.

Researchers say ritual for orthodox Jewish men may offer heart benefits

October 11, 2018
A pilot study led by researchers at the University of Cincinnati (UC) College of Medicine suggests Jewish men who practice wearing tefillin, which involves the tight wrapping of an arm with leather banding as part of daily ...

Markers of dairy fat consumption linked to lower risk of type two diabetes

October 10, 2018
Higher levels of biomarkers of dairy fat consumption are associated with a lower risk of developing type 2 diabetes, according to new research published today in PLOS Medicine. The study, in more than 60,000 adults, was undertaken ...

0 comments

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.