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Blood interleukin 12 as preoperative predictor of fatal postoperative sepsis after neoadjuvant radiochemotherapy. BJS 2006; 93: 1283-1289.

Published: 31st May 2006

Authors: A. R. Novotny, K. Emmanuel, K. Ulm, H. Bartels, J.‐R. Siewert, H. Weighardt et al.


The value of preoperative whole‐blood interleukin (IL) 12 levels in predicting death from postoperative sepsis was evaluated, in patients stratified by underlying malignancy, neoadjuvant tumour treatment and surgical procedure.


Blood samples were collected from 1444 patients before major surgery. Whole blood was incubated with Escherichia coli lipopolysaccharide (LPS) and IL‐12 production in supernatants was assessed by enzyme‐linked immunosorbent assay. The prognostic impact of ability to synthesize IL‐12 before surgery was investigated in patient subgroups with respect to sepsis‐related mortality using multivariate binary logistic regression analysis.


IL‐12 synthesizing capability in patients who survived sepsis was significantly higher than that in patients who developed fatal sepsis (P = 0·006). In multivariate analysis only IL‐12 was associated with a lethal outcome from postoperative sepsis (P = 0·006). The prognostic impact of IL‐12 was evident in patients with underlying malignancy (P = 0·011) and in those who had undergone neoadjuvant tumour treatment (P = 0·008). When patients were analysed according to the type of neoadjuvant therapy, preoperative ability to synthesize IL‐12 had a significant prognostic impact in patients who had neoadjuvant radiochemotherapy (P = 0·026), but not in those who had neoadjuvant chemotherapy.


IL‐12 production after stimulation of whole blood with LPS appears to be useful for the preoperative assessment of risk of sepsis‐related death after operation in patients who have undergone neoadjuvant radiochemotherapy. Copyright © 2006 British Journal of Surgery Society Ltd. Published by John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.

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