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Open Access Research

4G/5G polymorphism of PAI-1 gene is associated with multiple organ dysfunction and septic shock in pneumonia induced severe sepsis: prospective, observational, genetic study

Krisztina Madách1*, István Aladzsity2, Ágnes Szilágyi23, George Fust2, János Gál1, István Pénzes1 and Zoltán Prohászka23

Author Affiliations

1 Department of Anesthesiology and Intensive Therapy, Semmelweis University, Kútvölgyi út 4, Budapest, H-1125, Hungary

2 3rd Department of Internal Medicine, Research Laboratory, Semmelweis University, Kútvölgyi út 4, Budapest, H-1125, Hungary

3 Research Group of Inflammation Biology and Immunogenomics, Semmelweis University and Hungarian Academy of Sciences, Nagyvárad tér 4, Budapest H-1089, Hungary

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Critical Care 2010, 14:R79  doi:10.1186/cc8992

Published: 29 April 2010

Abstract

Introduction

Activation of inflammation and coagulation are closely related and mutually interdependent in sepsis. The acute-phase protein, plasminogen activator inhibitor-1 (PAI-1) is a key element in the inhibition of fibrinolysis. Elevated levels of PAI-1 have been related to worse outcome in pneumonia. We aimed to evaluate the effect of functionally relevant 4G/5G polymorphism of PAI-1 gene in pneumonia induced sepsis.

Methods

We enrolled 208 Caucasian patients with severe sepsis due to pneumonia admitted to an intensive care unit (ICU). Patients were followed up until ICU discharge or death. Clinical data were collected prospectively and the PAI-1 4G/5G polymorphism was genotyped by polymerase chain reaction-restriction fragment length polymorphism technique. Patients were stratified according to the occurrence of multiple organ dysfunction syndrome, septic shock or death.

Results

We found that carriers of the PAI-1 4G/4G and 4G/5G genotypes have a 2.74-fold higher risk for multiple organ dysfunction syndrome (odds ratio [OR] 95% confidence interval [CI] = 1.335 - 5.604; p = 0.006) and a 2.57-fold higher risk for septic shock (OR 95%CI = 1.180 - 5.615; p = 0.018) than 5G/5G carriers. The multivariate logistic regression analysis adjusted for independent predictors, such as age, nosocomial pneumonia and positive microbiological culture also supported that carriers of the 4G allele have a higher prevalence of multiple organ dysfunction syndrome (adjusted odds ratio [aOR] = 2.957; 95%CI = 1.306 -6.698; p = 0.009) and septic shock (aOR = 2.603; 95%CI = 1.137 - 5.959; p = 0.024). However, genotype and allele analyses have not shown any significant difference regarding mortality in models non-adjusted or adjusted for acute physiology and chronic health evaluation (APACHE) II. Patients bearing the 4G allele had higher disseminated intravascular coagulation (DIC) score at admission (p = 0.007) than 5G/5G carriers. Moreover, in 4G allele carriers the length of ICU stay of non-survivors was longer (p = 0.091), fewer ventilation-free days (p = 0.008) and days without septic shock (p = 0.095) were observed during the first 28 days.

Conclusions

In Caucasian patients with severe sepsis due to pneumonia carriers of the 4G allele of PAI-1 polymorphism have higher risk for multiple organ dysfunction syndrome and septic shock and in agreement they showed more fulminant disease progression based on continuous clinical variables.