Thrombopoietin (TPO), interleukin (IL)-6, and platelets were measured serially in 9 patients with fulminant meningococcal septicemia and consumption coagulopathy. The results were compared with those of patients with meningococcal meningitis and mild meningococcemia (n = 10) and with those of healthy control subjects (n = 19). TPO levels in control subjects were below the detection limit (<63 pg/mL). In patients with fulminant meningococcal septicemia, the median TPO level on admission was 193 pg/mL (range, 133–401 pg/mL), and the level peaked within 3–7 days (median, 488 pg/mL; range, 239–1334 pg/mL). Platelet counts remained low, despite the elevated TPO levels. In patients with meningitis or meningococcemia, the median TPO level on admission was 112 pg/mL (range, <63–695 pg/mL), and the TPO level was not detectable within 48 h. Platelet counts for these patients remained within normal limits. Maximum IL-6 levels in patients with septicemia were observed on admission (median, 5317 pg/mL; range, 188–651,000 pg/mL) and increased earlier than TPO levels. In patients with fulminant septicemia, TPO level increases significantly whereas the level of circulating platelets does not.
Journal Article. 2737 words. Illustrated.
Subjects: Infectious Diseases ; Immunology ; Public Health and Epidemiology ; Microbiology
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