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Endocan measurement for the postmortem diagnosis of sepsis
Publication types: Journal Article
The vascular endothelium has been shown to play a pivotal role in the pathophysiology of sepsis through the expression of surface proteins and secretion of soluble mediators. Endocan (endothelial cell-specific molecule-1), a 50-kDa dermatan sulfate proteoglycan, is expressed by endothelial cells in lung and kidney and can be detected at low levels in the serum of healthy subjects. Increased concentrations were described in patients with sepsis, severe sepsis and septic shock compared to healthy individuals, with serum concentrations related to the severity of illness. In the present study, we investigated endocan, procalcitonin and C-reactive protein in postmortem serum from femoral blood in a series of sepsis-related fatalities and control individuals who underwent medicolegal investigations. Endocan was also measured in pericardial fluid. Two study groups were prospectively formed, a sepsis-related fatalities group and a control group. The sepsis-related fatalities group consisted of sixteen forensic autopsy cases with documented clinical diagnosis of sepsis in vivo. The control group consisted of sixteen forensic autopsy cases with various noninfectious causes of death. Postmortem serum endocan concentrations were significantly higher in the sepsis group, with values ranging from 0.519ng/ml to 6.756ng/ml. In the control group, endocan levels were undetectable in eleven out of sixteen cases. The results of the data analysis revealed similar endocan concentrations in the pericardial fluid of both studied groups. Endocan can be considered a suitable biological parameter for the detection of sepsis-related deaths in forensic pathology routine.
C-reactive protein, CRP, EC, Endocan, Forensic pathology, PCT, Postmortem biochemistry, Procalcitonin, SIRS, Sepsis, endothelial cells, procalcitonin, systemic inflammatory response syndrome
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