Increased DNA damage and increased apoptosis and necrosis in patients with severe sepsis and septic shock

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Reactive oxygen species (ROS) has a key role in the pathogenesis of sepsis. We wanted to evaluate ROS-associated lymphocyte necrosis and apoptosis.

Materials and methods:

A total of 51 patients were included in the study, 29 in the patient group and 22 in the control group. Blood samples were taken from patients in the patient group during severe sepsis or septic shock, then again once they had recovered. Oxidative DNA damage was evaluated by 8-hydroxy-2′-deoxyguanosine (8-OHdG) levels. Peripheral blood lymphocytes from patients were evaluated with a microscope immediately. The rate of apoptosis and necrosis of lymphocytes were evaluated according to the number of cells in the peripheral.


The level of 8-OHdG increased with severe sepsis or septic shock. There were significant differences between the pre- and post-treatment values for apoptotic cell frequency (4.21 ± 3.15 vs. 3.82 ± 3.07, P < 0.05) and necrotic cell frequency (4.75 ± 3.61 vs. 4.09 ± 3.37, P < 0.05). Apoptosis and necrosis was increased during severe sepsis and septic shock, and apoptosis increase also continued after recovery, but necrosis decreased following disease recovery.


In patients with severe sepsis or septic shock, apoptosis and necrosis were increased along with increased 8-OHdG level.

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