Effect of inflammatory mediators on cardiovascular function

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Purpose of review

Inflammatory mediators can interfere with cardiovascular system. This article describes some recent findings in this field.

Recent findings

In septic cardiomyopathy, direct and indirect interactions of endotoxin with the pacemaker current contribute to cardiac autonomic dysfunction and inadequately high heart rate, worsening prognosis. In myocardial infarction, inflammatory blood cells correlate with impaired coronary microvascular reperfusion. In cardiogenic shock, systemic inflammation and development of multiorgan dysfunction syndrome have a major impact on mortality. Shock patients have low levels of activated protein C and high levels of the endogenous danger signal molecule peroxiredoxin 1; both conditions might represent further therapeutic targets. As major cause of cytopathic hypoxia, mitochondrial dysfunction has also been identified in mitochondria from peripheral blood mononuclear cells in paediatric septic shock. Transcatheter aortic valve endocarditis, a new endocarditis entity after transcatheter aortic valve implantation in old and very old patients, needs our special attention, because immunosenescence may modify the clinical course in a negative sense. Systemic spreading of endocarditis to septic shock adds to the local valve infection the problem of septic shock.


Not only in septic shock, but also in classic heart diseases like cardiogenic shock and endocarditis, the detrimental role of inflammatory mediators becomes more and more evident, whereas effective anti-inflammatory treatment concepts are still missing.

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