Interleukin-6 in Surgery, Trauma, and Critical Care Part II: Clinical Implications

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A variety of cytokines play a role in the inflammatory response. Interleukin-6 (IL-6)-type cytokines are released in response to tissue injury or an inflammatory stimulus, and act locally and systemically to generate a variety of physiologic responses. Interleukin-6 concentrations are elevated after surgery, trauma, and critical illness. The magnitude of IL-6 elevation correlates with the extent of tissue trauma/injury severity. Furthermore, there is an association between IL-6 elevation and adverse outcome. Interleukin-6 levels can also be used to stratify patients for therapeutic intervention.

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