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This article is part of the supplement: 22nd International Symposium on Intensive Care and Emergency Medicine

Open Badges Meeting abstract

Complement activation in relation to age in patients with severe sepsis

G Marx1, B Vangerow2, H Rueckoldt3, M Cobas Meyer2, D Fromann3, T Schuerholz3 and M Leuwer1

Author Affiliations

1 University Department of Anaesthesia, University of Liverpool, L69 3GA, UK

2 Eli Lilly GmbH, Germany

3 Department of Anaesthesia, Hannover Medical School, Germany

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Critical Care 2002, 6(Suppl 1):P108  doi:10.1186/cc1561

The electronic version of this article is the complete one and can be found online at:

Published:1 March 2002



Severe sepsis is still associated with a mortality of 29% [1]. Sepsis mortality is highest in elderly patients [1]. Another factor, which is related to outcome in sepsis is the extent of complement activation [2]. The aim of this study was to evaluate complement activation in relation to age in severe septic patients.


This observational study was performed in 20 patients with severe sepsis (SOFA-Score = 9 ± 3) and grouped according to age: = 60 years ('adult', n = 10) and > 65 years ('elderly', n = 10). Complement proteins Bb, C3a, C4d were performed by ELISA technique. C1-Inhibitor (C1-Inh) activity was measured by Berichrom® C1-Inactivator, and C1-Inh protein concentration by NOR-Partigen®. To compare values at onset of severe sepsis with those on the 8 th day Friedman test with post-hoc Wilcoxon test was performed. Data are presented as median and range. *P < 0.05 was considered significant.


See Table 1.


Activation of the classical pathway of complement was found to be more marked in adult patients than in elderly. Thus, our results suggest age-related differences in the complement activation in severe sepsis.


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    Intensive Care Med. 1993, 19(suppl 1):19-28. Publisher Full Text OpenURL