How Does Sepsis Affect the Heart?

In cases of severe sepsis, low blood pressure and organ failure lead to mortality in up to 40% of patients. As severe sepsis usually involves infection of the bloodstream,  the heart is one of the first affected organs. Researchers have long understood a correlation between sepsis and heart damage, but it was only a few years ago that a team of researchers uncovered nuclear proteins, histones, which are released in septic patients and damage the heart muscle. We may now predict which sepsis patients are at a higher risk of developing heart damage during sepsis by measuring the level of levels of histones in the blood. The findings were published in Critical Care Medicine in 2015 and have implications for the future treatment of sepsis and heart damage due to sepsis.

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