Statins: Panacea for sepsis?

Interdepartmental Division of Critical Care Medicine, Sunnybrook and Women's College Health Science Centre, Toronto, Canada.
The Lancet Infectious Diseases (Impact Factor: 22.43). 05/2006; 6(4):242-8. DOI: 10.1016/S1473-3099(06)70439-X
Source: PubMed


Sepsis occurs when the immune system responds to a localised infection at a systemic level, thereby causing tissue damage and organ dysfunction. Statins have proven health benefits in many diseases involving vascular inflammation and injury. Recent animal data suggest that the administration of a statin before a sepsis-inducing insult reduces morbidity and improves survival. The immunomodulatory and anti-inflammatory effects of statins, collectively referred to as pleiotropic effects, lend biological plausibility to such findings. Limited human data hint at reduced mortality rates in bacteraemic patients, and a reduced risk of sepsis in patients with bacterial infections concurrently taking statins. These lines of evidence point to a potential new treatment and prevention modality for sepsis. The stage is set for randomised controlled clinical trials that will determine whether statins represent a safe and beneficial treatment in critically ill, septic patients and whether statins are effective at preventing sepsis in high-risk clinical settings.

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Available from: Marius Terblanche,
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    • "During onset of sepsis , the inflammatory system becomes hyperactive, leading to an over-production of proinflammatory mediators, which contribute to septic shock, multiple organ failure, and death (Terblanche et al., 2006). "
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    Phytochemistry 06/2013; 94. DOI:10.1016/j.phytochem.2013.05.020 · 2.55 Impact Factor
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    • "They are well established in the prevention of cardiovascular disease and have been shown to exert numerous effects in addition to their lipid-lowering properties. These pleiotropic properties include anti-inflammatory and immunomodulatory effects resulting in improved endothelial function, reduced thrombogenicity and plaque stabilisation [3-5]. "
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    Critical care (London, England) 12/2012; 16(6):R231. DOI:10.1186/cc11895 · 4.48 Impact Factor
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    • "However, these patients already suffered AOF. Another example is statin therapy, recently highlighted as a possible efficacious preventative strategy [9,10]. "
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