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Clinical and immunologic assessment of sepsis and the systemic inflammatory response syndrome in cats

Amy E. DeClueComparative Internal Medicine Laboratory, Department of Veterinary Medicine and Surgery, College of Veterinary Medicine, University of Missouri, Columbia, MO 65211.

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Cherlene DelgadoComparative Internal Medicine Laboratory, Department of Veterinary Medicine and Surgery, College of Veterinary Medicine, University of Missouri, Columbia, MO 65211.

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Chee-hoon ChangComparative Internal Medicine Laboratory, Department of Veterinary Medicine and Surgery, College of Veterinary Medicine, University of Missouri, Columbia, MO 65211.

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Claire R. SharpComparative Internal Medicine Laboratory, Department of Veterinary Medicine and Surgery, College of Veterinary Medicine, University of Missouri, Columbia, MO 65211.

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Abstract

Objective—To compare clinical findings and inflammatory mediator production among cats with sepsis, cats with noninfectious systemic inflammatory response syndrome (SIRS), and healthy cats.

Design—Case-control study.

Animals—Cats with sepsis (n = 16) or SIRS (19) and 8 healthy control cats.

Procedures—Clinical variables were recorded for each cat, and plasma tumor necrosis factor (TNF) and interleukin (IL)-1β activities and IL-6 and CXC chemokine ligand (CXCL)-8 concentrations were determined at initial evaluation.

Results—Clinicopathologic abnormalities associated with sepsis in cats included a high band neutrophil percentage, eosinopenia, hyponatremia, hypochloremia, hypoalbuminemia, hypocalcemia, and hyperbilirubinemia. When the sepsis and SIRS groups were compared, the only significant differences in the CBC and plasma biochemical findings were band neutrophil percentage and albumin concentration. Cats with sepsis had significantly greater plasma TNF activity than did healthy cats and were more likely to have detectable concentrations of IL-6 than were cats with SIRS or healthy cats. Plasma IL-1β activity did not differ among groups, and CXCL-8 was not detectable in most (32/43) cats. Mortality rate was not significantly greater for cats with sepsis (7/16) than for cats with SIRS (5/19). Plasma IL-1β activity and IL-6 and chloride concentrations were the only variables correlated with nonsurvival in the sepsis group.

Conclusions and Clinical Relevance—Cats with sepsis may have various clinicopathologic abnormalities but are more likely to have a high band neutrophil percentage and hypoalbuminemia than cats with noninfectious SIRS. Plasma interleukin-1β activity and plasma IL-6 and chloride concentrations may be useful prognostic biomarkers for septic cats.

Abstract

Objective—To compare clinical findings and inflammatory mediator production among cats with sepsis, cats with noninfectious systemic inflammatory response syndrome (SIRS), and healthy cats.

Design—Case-control study.

Animals—Cats with sepsis (n = 16) or SIRS (19) and 8 healthy control cats.

Procedures—Clinical variables were recorded for each cat, and plasma tumor necrosis factor (TNF) and interleukin (IL)-1β activities and IL-6 and CXC chemokine ligand (CXCL)-8 concentrations were determined at initial evaluation.

Results—Clinicopathologic abnormalities associated with sepsis in cats included a high band neutrophil percentage, eosinopenia, hyponatremia, hypochloremia, hypoalbuminemia, hypocalcemia, and hyperbilirubinemia. When the sepsis and SIRS groups were compared, the only significant differences in the CBC and plasma biochemical findings were band neutrophil percentage and albumin concentration. Cats with sepsis had significantly greater plasma TNF activity than did healthy cats and were more likely to have detectable concentrations of IL-6 than were cats with SIRS or healthy cats. Plasma IL-1β activity did not differ among groups, and CXCL-8 was not detectable in most (32/43) cats. Mortality rate was not significantly greater for cats with sepsis (7/16) than for cats with SIRS (5/19). Plasma IL-1β activity and IL-6 and chloride concentrations were the only variables correlated with nonsurvival in the sepsis group.

Conclusions and Clinical Relevance—Cats with sepsis may have various clinicopathologic abnormalities but are more likely to have a high band neutrophil percentage and hypoalbuminemia than cats with noninfectious SIRS. Plasma interleukin-1β activity and plasma IL-6 and chloride concentrations may be useful prognostic biomarkers for septic cats.

Contributor Notes

Dr. Sharp's present address is Department of Veterinary Clinical Sciences, Cummings School of Veterinary Medicine, Tufts University, North Grafton, MA 01536.

The authors thank Dr. Laura Nafe, Howard Wilson, and Donald Connor for assistance with figure preparation and Hong Liu for technical assistance.

Address correspondence to Dr. DeClue (decluea@missouri.edu).