Pulmonary abscess or lung abscess is a lung infection which destroys the lung parenchyma leading to cavitations and central necrosis in localised areas formed by thick-walled purulent material. It can be primary or secondary. Lung abscesses can occur at any age, but it seems that paediatric pulmonary abscess morbidity is lower than in adults. We present the case of a one year and 5-month-old male child admitted to our clinic for fever, loss of appetite and an overall altered general status. Laboratory tests revealed elevated inflammatory biomarkers, leukocytosis with neutrophilia, anaemia, thrombocytosis, low serum iron concentration and increased lactate dehydrogenase level. Despite wide-spectrum antibiotic therapy, the patient’s progress remained poor after seven days of treatment and a CT scan established the diagnosis of a large lung abscess. Despite changing the antibiotic therapy, surgical intervention was eventually needed. There was a slow but steady improvement and eventually, the patient was discharged after approximately five weeks.
Sepsis represents a severe pathology that requires both rapid and precise positive and differential diagnosis to identify patients who need immediate antimicrobial therapy. Monitoring septic patients’ outcome leads to prolonged hospitalisation and antibacterial therapy, often accompanied by substantial side effects, complications and a high mortality risk.
Septic patients present with complex pathophysiological and immunological disorders and with a predominance of pro-inflammatory or anti-inflammatory mediators which are heterogeneous with respect to the infectious focus, the aetiology of sepsis or patients’ immune status or comorbidities. Previous studies performed have analysed inflammatory biomarkers, but a test or combinations of tests that can quickly and precisely establish a diagnosis or prognosis of septic patients has yet to be discovered. Recent research has focused on re-analysing older accessible parameters found in the complete blood count to determine the sensitivity, specificity, positive and negative predictive values for the diagnosis and prognosis of sepsis.
The neutrophil/lymphocyte count ratio (NLCR), mean platelet volume (MPV) and red blood cells distribution width (RDW) are haemogram indicators which have been evaluated and which are of proven use in septic patients’ management.
Sepsis associated coagulopathy is due to the inflammation-induced activation of coagulation pathways concomitant with dysfunction of anticoagulant and fibrinolytic systems, leading to different degrees of haemostasis dysregulation. This response is initially beneficial, contributing to antimicrobial defence, but when control is lost coagulation activation leads to widespread microvascular thrombosis and subsequent organ failure. Large clinical trials of sepsis-related anticoagulant therapies failed to show survival benefits, but posthoc analysis of databases and several smaller studies showed beneficial effects of anticoagulants in subgroups of patients with early sepsis-induced disseminated intravascular coagulation. A reasonable explanation could be the difference in timing of anticoagulant therapy and patient heterogeneity associated with large trials. Proper selection of patients and adequate timing are required for treatment to be successful. The time when coagulation activation changes from advantageous to detrimental represents the right moment for the administration of coagulation-targeted therapy. In this way, the defence function of the haemostatic system is preserved, and the harmful effects of overwhelming coagulation activation are avoided.
Sepsis is an injurious systemic host response to infection, which can often lead to septic shock and death. Recently, the immune-pathogenesis and genomics of sepsis have become a research topic focusing on the establishment of diagnostic and prognostic biomarkers. As yet, none have been identified as having the necessary specificity to be used independently of other factors in this respect. However the accumulation of current evidence regarding genetic variations, especially the single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) of cytokines and other innate immunity determinants, partially explains the susceptibility and individual differences of patients with regard to the evolution of sepsis. This article outlines the role of genetic variation of some serum proteins which have the potential to be used as biomarker values in evaluating sepsis susceptibility and the progression of the condition.
Introduction: Cupriavidus pauculus is a rarely isolated non-fermentative, aerobic bacillus, which occasionally causes severe human infections, especially in immunocompromised patients. Strains have been isolated from various clinical and environmental sources.
Case presentation: A 67-year-old man was admitted to the Intensive Care Unit with acute respiratory failure. The patient was diagnosed with bilateral pneumonia, pulmonary sepsis and underwent invasive mechanical ventilation. Examination revealed diminished bilateral vesicular breath sounds, fever, intense yellow tracheal secretions, a respiratory rate of 24/minute, a heart rate of 123/minute, and blood pressure of 75/55 mmHg. Vasoactive treatment was initiated. Investigations revealed elevated lactate and C-reactive protein levels. A chest X-ray showed bilateral infiltration. Parenteral ciprofloxacin and ceftriaxone were administered. Tracheal aspirate culture and blood culture showed bacterial growth of Cupriavidus pauculus. Colistin was added to the treatment. There was a poor clinical response despite repeated blood culture showing negative results. The diagnosis of multiple organ dysfunction syndrome (MODS) caused by C. pauculus was made. The patient died eleven days after admission.
Conclusions: Clinical improvement cannot always be expected in spite of targeted antibiotic therapy. This pathogen should be considered responsible for infections that usually develop in immunocompromised patients.
Systemic inflammatory activation in sepsis often leads to coagulation activation, but the relationship is bilateral, as coagulation also modulates the inflammatory response. This close associate has significant consequences for the pathogenesis of microvascular thrombosis and organ dysfunction in sepsis. While coagulation activation can be beneficial for immune defense, it can also be detrimental once it becomes widespread and uncontrolled. The knowledge of the pathophysiologic mechanisms involved in the interaction between infection and coagulation may lead to the better timing for the administration of targeted antithrombotic therapies in septic patients. This brief review highlights the pathophysiologic pathways leading to the prothrombotic state in sepsis and the mechanisms that play a role in the interaction between infection and coagulation.
Background: Physiological composite scores are used to predict mortality in multiple trauma patients. Sepsis is the leading cause of late mortality in trauma victims brought about by immune suppression due to homeostasis dysregulation.
Objective: To determine whether APACHE II, SOFA, ISS and RTS scores can predict the occurrence of sepsis in multiple trauma patients.
Methods: APACHE II, SOFA, ISS, and RTS scores were calculated during the first twenty-four hours after the injury for sixty-four adult poly-traumatic patients. The occurrence of infectious complications was investigated over a fourteen-day period. The infection-free rates for the multiple trauma patients were considered as end-points in the Kaplan-Meier plot analysis.
Results: For SOFA, a cutoff score of 4 points was identified as a predictor of the occurrence of sepsis, with 89% of the patients with SOFA<4 being infection-free, while 37% of those with SOFA>4 were infection-free (p<0.01). None of the patients with APACHE II≤5 points developed infections. Eighty-four percent of patients with APACHE II scores of 5-10 did not develop sepsis, while 49% with APACHE II≥11 were infection-free (p<0.01). A cutoff of 7 points was found to be most discriminative for RTS. Eighty-eight percent of the patients with RTS≥7 and 43% of those with RTS<7 were infection-free (p<0.01). Eighty-eight percent of patients with ISS<22 did not develop sepsis and 56% with ISS≥22 did not develop sepsis (p<0.01).
Conclusion: APACHE II, SOFA, ISS, and RTS functional severity scores can predict mortality as well as the occurrence of sepsis in multiple trauma patients.
Sepsis is a systemic inflammatory response (SIRS) characterized by two or more of the following: fever > 38.5 °C or <36 °C, tachycardia, medium respiratory frequency over two SD for age, increased number of leukocytes.
The following is a case of an eight months old, female infant, admitted in to the clinic for fever (39.7 C), with an onset five days before the admission, following trauma to the inferior lip and gum. Other than the trauma to the lip and gum, a clinical exam did not reveal any other pathological results. The laboratory tests showed leukocytosis, positive acute phase reactants (ESR 105 mm/h, PCR 85 mg/dl), with positive blood culture for Staphylococcus aureus MSSA. at 24 hours. Three days from admission, despite the administration of antibiotics (Vancomycin+Meronem), there was no remission of fever, and the infant developed a fluctuant collection above the knee joint. This was drained, and was of a serous macroscopic nature. A decision was made to perform a CT, which confirmed the diagnosis of septic arthritis. At two days after the intervention, the fever reappeared, therefore the antibiotic regime were altered (Oxacillin instead of Vancomycin), resulting in resolution of the fever. Sepsis in infant is a complex pathology, with non-specific symptoms and unpredictable evolution.
Jaundice in sepsis is usually caused by cholestasis, and its onset can precede other manifestations of the infection. Inflammation-induced cholestasis is a common complication in patients with an extrahepatic infection or those with inflammatory processes. We describe the case of a 47 years old female who presented with low back pain and paravertebral muscular contracture. She subsequently developed a cholestatic syndrome with clinical manifestations such as jaundice, followed by fever and sepsis with multiple organ dysfunction. Initially labeled as biliary sepsis, the diagnosis was crucially reoriented as the blood cultures were positive for Streptococcus pyogenes and the magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) findings suggested spondylodiscitis as well as a paravertebral abscess.
Progressive cardiovascular deterioration plays a central role in the pathogenesis of multiple organ failure (MOF) caused by sepsis. Evidence of various cardiac arrhythmias in septic patients has been reported in many published studies. In the critically ill septic patients, compared to non-septic patients, new onset atrial fibrillation episodes are associated with high mortality rates and poor outcomes, amongst others being new episodes of stroke, heart failure and long vasopressor usage. The potential mechanisms of the development of new cardiac arrhythmias in sepsis are complex and poorly understood. Cardiac arrhythmias in critically ill septic patients are most likely to be an indicator of the severity of pre-existing critical illness.