5 years ago

Correlation between plasma endothelin-1 levels and severity of septic liver failure quantified by maximal liver function capacity (LiMAx test). A prospective study

Johan F. Lock, Maciej Malinowski, Navid Ahmadi, Magnus F. Kaffarnik, Tilo Wuensch, Johann Pratschke, Martin Stockmann

by Magnus F. Kaffarnik, Navid Ahmadi, Johan F. Lock, Tilo Wuensch, Johann Pratschke, Martin Stockmann, Maciej Malinowski


To investigate the relationship between the degree of liver dysfunction, quantified by maximal liver function capacity (LiMAx test) and endothelin-1, TNF-α and IL-6 in septic surgical patients.


28 septic patients (8 female, 20 male, age range 35–80y) were prospectively investigated on a surgical intensive care unit. Liver function, defined by LiMAx test, and measurements of plasma levels of endothelin-1, TNF-α and IL-6 were carried out within the first 24 hours after onset of septic symptoms, followed by day 2, 5 and 10. Patients were divided into 2 groups (group A: LiMAx ≥100 μg/kg/h, moderate liver dysfunction; group B: LiMAx <100 μg/kg/h, severe liver dysfunction) for analysis and investigated regarding the correlation between endothelin-1 and the severity of liver failure, quantified by LiMAx test.


Group B showed significant higher results for endothelin-1 than patients in group A (P = 0.01, d5; 0.02, d10). For TNF-α, group B revealed higher results than group A, with a significant difference on day 10 (P = 0.005). IL-6 showed a non-significant trend to higher results in group B. The Spearman's rank correlation coefficient revealed a significant correlation between LiMAx and endothelin-1 (-0.434; P <0.001), TNF-α (-0.515; P <0.001) and IL-6 (-0.590; P <0.001).


Sepsis-related hepatic dysfunction is associated with elevated plasma levels of endothelin-1, TNF-α and IL-6. Low LiMAx results combined with increased endothelin-1 and TNF-α and a favourable correlation between LiMAx and cytokine values support the findings of a crucial role of Endothelin-1 and TNF-α in development of septic liver failure.

Publisher URL: http://journals.plos.org/plosone/article

DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0178237

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