GENETIC DIVERSITY AND SEXUAL-DIMORPHISMS ARE IMPORTANT CONTRIBUTORS TO THE INFLAMMATORY RESPONSE INDUCED BY ENDOTOXIN
Injury induced by a stochastic event, such as trauma or after an operative intervention initiates an inflammatory response directed to control the initial insult.
Patients, who withstand the initial injury, are still at risk to suffer serious deterioration of their health by secondary responses mounted after the initiating insult. Such
secondary responses are commonly sepsis, acute respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS) and multiple organ dysfunction syndrome (MODS) (Baue 1975; Meakins
1990; Baue 1996). Morbidity and mortality associated with these conditions are a major health problem (Rangel-Frausto et al. 1995). A national estimate of 751,000 cases of sepsis is predicted per annum in the U.S, with an average hospital stay of 19.8 days and costs of approximately $22.100 per case (Angus et al. 2001). An intriguing question that arises from clinical observations is the diversity in the outcome after severe injury. Thus, it could be hypothesized that the regulation of the response to injury is different among human beings, thus resulting in a different incidence of sepsis, ARDS and MODS.