Genomic polymorphisms in sepsis

Mark T. Lin, Timothy E. Albertson

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

101 Scopus citations


Objective: This article aims to review all relevant genetic polymorphism studies that may contribute to the pathogenesis of sepsis with emphasis on polymorphisms of the innate immunity, pro- and anti-inflammatory cytokines, and coagulation mediators. Data Source: Published articles reporting on studies of associations between genetic polymorphisms, sepsis, septic shock, and other relevant infectious disease models. Data Analysis: Research into the pathogenesis of sepsis has led to the development of many potential therapeutic strategies. Several therapeutic agents and treatment modalities have been shown to decrease mortality rates in large, prospective, and randomized clinical trials. However, although these advances have resulted in improved survival for certain patient populations, the overall mortality rate for septic patients remains high. With the rapid development of molecular and genetic techniques, substantial interests have developed in using genomic information to define disease-mediating genetic variants in sepsis. Combined with microarray technology, it is anticipated in the near future that one will be able to tailor drug selection and dosage and predict outcome by correlating genetic profile with disease presentation. Numerous genetic association studies in sepsis have already been reported and more are likely to be published. Conclusions: Although studies examined in this review are of small heterogeneous populations, the identification of strong associations between certain genetic polymorphisms and increased mortality rate or susceptibility to severe sepsis is intriguing and supports further research using this approach. The establishment of these associations does not equal causation, and further research is required in both genetic and molecular aspect of sepsis.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)569-579
Number of pages11
JournalCritical care medicine
Issue number2
StatePublished - Feb 2004
Externally publishedYes


  • Genetics
  • Immunity
  • Polymorphism
  • Sepsis

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Critical Care and Intensive Care Medicine


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