Objective: Sepsis, a serious and life threatening complication arising from infection caused by lipopolysaccharide, is a complex inflammatory syndrome, and one of the main causes of death in intensive care units (ICU). It is characterized as an over-response of pro-coagulant agents promotes coagulopathy and thrombus formation, resulting in disseminated intravascular coagulation (DIC). Furthermore, it can cause multiple organ dysfunction and hypotension (septic shock) resulting in death. Thrombocytopenia, which is a hallmark of sepsis, is strongly correlated as a negative marker of the infection. Additionally, platelets contribute with the oxidative stress in septic patients in order to exterminate the microbial pathogen. This review summarises the important role of platelets in the pathology of sepsis, and highlights potential treatment targets to improve the outcome of sceptic patients.
Methods: The search was performed in PubMed, books and retrieved journal articles for a period of three months. The figures were developed through Servier Medical Arts software.
Conclusion: The exact treatment of sepsis is still the subject of considerable debate. Although here we presented several therapies that have shown promise for improving the outcome of patients, researching platelet function in sepsis has provided us targets to develop new medical approaches focusing specially on thrombocytopenia and DIC.
Keywords: Sepsis, platelets, thrombocytopenia, thrombopoietin, NETs, ROS, NF-κB, sepsis treatments.
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