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Sepsis may be detected by monitoring liver function

Category: Organ Specific Testing

A recent study led by Peter Recknagel, Ph.D., of Jena University Hospital in Germany, found that changes in liver function may indicate sepsis.

Sepsis is a condition that occurs when the body negatively reacts to bacteria and germs due to chemicals that are released by the body, and oftentimes, according to the National Institutes of Health (NIH), it results in death.

The research, which will be published in the journal PLoS One, looked at cell cultures, genetically modified rats and mice and patients who were in critical condition. The data acquired from the tests on the animals showed that liver dysfunction is a symptom of the onset of sepsis and that the detoxification process performed by the liver is also impacted by the condition.

The research conducted on the 48 human patients coincided with these findings, and the investigators said that liver tests may help catch sepsis in its early stages. Due to the condition's effect on the liver, the researchers also noted that some medications that are broken down in the liver could further degenerate the organ and should not be prescribed to patients who suffer from sepsis. They also reported that these findings should be further investigated and that they may have an impact on the detection of liver dysfunction in the future.

Other sepsis side effects
Other side effects of sepsis, according to the NIH, include chills, confusion and delirium, rapid heartbeat, shaking, a rash and warm skin. Usually, the ailment is detected with a blood test, but doctors may also check kidney function and a patient's white blood cell count.

Antibiotics are usually given to patients to treat sepsis, and oxygen and fluids are issued intravenously along with kidney dialysis if need be.

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