Gene Variations in the Protein C and Fibrinolytic Pathway: Relevance for Severity and Outcome in Pediatric Sepsis

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The host response to infection involves complex interplays between inflammation, coagulation, and fibrinolysis. Deregulation of hemostasis and fibrinolysis are major causes of critical illness and important determinants of outcome in severe sepsis. The hemostatic responses to infection vary widely between individuals, and are in part explained by polymorphisms in genes responsible for the protein C and fibrinolytic pathway. This review gives an overview of genetic polymorphisms in the protein C and fibrinolytic pathway associated with susceptibility and severity of pediatric sepsis. In addition, genetic polymorphisms associated with adult sepsis and other pediatric thromboembolic disorders are discussed, as these polymorphisms might be candidates for future molecular genetic research in pediatric sepsis.

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