Introduction: We conducted the present study to evaluate the changes in serum total antioxidant capacity (TAC) in patients with severe sepsis and to investigate the association between serum TAC and clinical severity. Method: This was a prospective observational study involving asample of patients who met established criteria for severe sepsis and were admitted to the emergency department of a university teaching hospital. Serum TAC was determined using the total radical-trapping antioxidant parameter method. The levels of TAC, uric acid, albumin, and bilirubin in sera were obtained in the emergency department and evaluated to determine whether there were any correlations between the major antioxidant biomarkers and clinical severity of sepsis. The Acute Physiology and Chronic Health Evaluation (APACHE) II score was used for clinical evaluation of the severity of sepsis. Results: A total of 73 patients with sepsis, with a mean (± standard deviation) APACHE II score of 23.2 ± 8.2 and a mortality rate of 26.0%, were included. Seventy-six healthy individuals served as control individuals. Among the patients, serum TAC levels correlated significantly with APACHE II scores. Patients who died also had higher TAC than did those who survived. Serum uric acid levels correlated significantly with serum TAC and APACHE II scores in patients with severe sepsis. Conclusion: Elevated serum TAC level may reflect clinical severity of sepsis. In addition, serum uric acid levels appear to contribute importantly to the higher TAC levels observed in patients with severe sepsis.
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