Serum samples from patients with meningococcal disease were examined for the presence of IL-6, TNF-alpha, and LPS. Median serum concentration of IL-6 was 1,000 times higher in patients with septic shock (189 ng/ml) than in patients with bacteriaemia, meningitis, or combined septic shock and meningitis. 11 of 21 patients with serum levels greater than 3.0 ng/ml died, whereas all 58 patients with serum levels at less than or equal to 3.0 ng/ml, survived. All four patients with serum IL-6 levels greater than 750 ng/ml, died. IL-1 was detected in serum from three patients who also had high serum levels of IL-6, TNF-alpha, and LPS, and rapidly fatal courses. IL-6 appeared to be released into serum later than TNF-alpha, and was detected in serum for up to 36 h. The half-life of IL-6 and TNF-alpha was calculated to be 103 +/- 27 min and 70 +/- 11 min, respectively. These data indicate that a complex pattern of cytokines exists in serum from patients with meningococcal septic shock, and that the release of IL-6 and IL-1, in addition to TNF-alpha, is associated with fatal outcome.
The complex pattern of cytokines in serum from patients with meningococcal septic shock. Association between interleukin 6, interleukin 1, and fatal outcome.
A Waage, P Brandtzaeg, A Halstensen, P Kierulf, T Espevik; The complex pattern of cytokines in serum from patients with meningococcal septic shock. Association between interleukin 6, interleukin 1, and fatal outcome.. J Exp Med 1 January 1989; 169 (1): 333–338. doi: https://doi.org/10.1084/jem.169.1.333
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