Oxidative Stress in the Critically Ill Polytrauma Patient

DOI: 10.1515/jccm-2015-0013

The critically ill patient with primary multiple traumas and having secondary complications, presents a complex challenge to the trauma team. The most commonly encountered primary injuries are traumatic brain, spinal cord, pulmonary and abdominal injuries or trauma to the pelvis and the extremities. Moreover, severe inflammations, infections, hyper-metabolism, as well as biochemical and physiological imbalances, lead to a significant increase in morbidity and mortality.
Most recently, the role of free radicals has been a largely debated and reported topic. Once produced in excess, free radicals are responsible for inducing oxidative stress. The redox species known to have a destructive effect on cells include the superoxide anion, the hydroxyl radical, hydrogen peroxide, nitric oxide, peroxynitrite, lipid peroxyl and alkoxy lipid. Under normal conditions, free radicals are produced in the human body in small amounts, their activity being minimized by the body’s physiologically anti-oxidant systems which include superoxide dismutase, catalase, glutathione, glutathione peroxidase, peroxiredoxins, and glutaredoxins.
In the critically ill patient, severe physiological and biochemical imbalances significantly reduce the body’s anti-oxidant capacity, disrupting the redox balance [1]. A series of biomarkers are in use, designed to quantify oxidative stress. These comprise interleukin 1 beta, interleukin 6, interleukin 10, tumor necrosis alpha, components of the complement, plasmatic levels of antioxidant enzymes and the microRNA species [2]. [More]

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