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Does the COVID-19 cytokine storm exist?

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Inflammatory proteins, often known as cytokines, play an important function within the immune response. If this immune response is simply too sturdy, a phenomenon often known as “cytokine storm,” it may possibly trigger hurt to the affected person. It has been thought cytokine storm contributes to illness severity in sufferers with COVID-19. Following the measurement of a number of vital cytokines in sufferers with COVID-19 and varied different extreme illnesses, researchers at Radboud college medical middle now present that COVID-19 just isn’t characterised by a cytokine storm. This will likely have penalties for the therapy of those sufferers, the researchers write in JAMA.

The cytokine storm in COVID-19 sufferers just isn’t clearly outlined. In lots of instances, totally different cytokines are evaluated and no comparability has been made with different illnesses. Due to this fact, uncertainty and doubt exists regarding the cytokine storm in these sufferers.

Numerous affected person teams

Researchers from the Intensive Care (IC) division at Radboud college medical middle have now measured the focus of three important cytokines within the blood of sufferers admitted to the IC with a number of distinct situations. They carried out these measurements in sufferers with COVID-19 who met the standards for a extreme acute respiratory an infection (ARDS), sufferers with bacterial septic shock (with and with out ARDS), and sufferers who had been admitted to the IC after a cardiac arrest or extreme trauma. The cytokines have been measured utilizing the identical strategies for every of the teams of sufferers.

Cytokine storm?

Within the abovedescribed 5 affected person teams, the focus of tumor necrosis issue alpha (TNF-alpha) and interleukins 6 and eight (IL-6, IL-Eight) was measured. The outcomes have been exceptional. Researcher Matthijs Kox: “The extent of cytokines was considerably much less elevated in COVID-19 sufferers than in sufferers with septic shock and ARDS. In comparison with sufferers with septic shock with out ARDS, so with out extreme pulmonary illness, sufferers with COVID-19 additionally displayed markedly decrease ranges of IL-6 and IL-Eight. The cytokine concentrations in COVID-19 sufferers have been much like these in IC sufferers with trauma or cardiac arrest, situations that aren’t famous for a cytokine storm.”

Potential penalties

The outcomes from this examine present that COVID-19 just isn’t characterised by a cytokine storm. Professor of Intensive Care Medication Peter Pickkers: “The extreme illness noticed in critically sick COVID-19 sufferers is subsequently not defined by strongly elevated ranges of inflammatory proteins within the blood. Which means that critically sick COVID-19 sufferers probably is not going to profit from particular anti-cytokine therapies.”

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Materials offered by Radboud University Medical Center. Be aware: Content material could also be edited for model and size.

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