Indexed on: 23 May '15Published on: 23 May '15Published in: Annals of medicine
Sepsis is a systemic uncontrolled inflammatory response in the presence of an infection. It remains a major cause of morbidity and mortality in hospitalized patients. According to its severity, sepsis can progress to three different states: severe sepsis, septic shock, and multiple organ dysfunction syndrome, related to organ dysfunction and/or tissue hypoperfusion. Different processes underlie its pathophysiology; among them are oxidative stress, endothelial and mitochondrial dysfunction, and angiogenesis-related factors. However, no studies have integrated these elements in sepsis. The main difficulty in sepsis is its diagnosis. Currently, the potential of inflammatory biomarkers in septic patients remains weak. In this context, the research into new biomarkers is essential to aid with sepsis diagnosis and prognostication. Furthermore, even though the current management of severe forms of sepsis has been effective, morbimortality remains elevated. Therefore, it is essential to explore alternative approaches to therapy development. The aim of this review is to present an update of evidence supporting the role of oxidative stress and angiogenesis-related factors in the pathophysiology of the different forms of sepsis. It proposes a novel convergence between both elements in their role in the disease, and it will cover their utility as new diagnostic tools, predictors of outcome, and as novel therapeutic targets.