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Editorials |

Cytokines and Pleural Drainage Fluid : Do Local Levels Make a Difference?

John M. Porter, MD (Youngstown, OH)
Author and Funding Information

Director, Trauma/Critical Care Service, St. Elizabeth Health Center.

Correspondence to: John M. Porter, MD, Director, Trauma/Critical Care Service, St. Elizabeth Health Center, 1044 Belmont Ave, Youngstown, OH 44501



Chest. 1999;115(6):1489-1490. doi:10.1378/chest.115.6.1489
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Extract

There is a mounting body of evidence to support the role of leukocytes and their products, cytokines, in the development of postoperative complications, systemic inflammatory response syndrome, and multiple organ dysfunction syndrome. On the superficial level, one can think of this inflammatory response as “bad.” From a teleologic viewpoint, however, there must be a beneficial function to any enzyme or biological system that is conserved throughout evolution. One of the primary roles of the inflammatory response, in this respect, is to promote healing, thus allowing the organism to return to normal after an injury or stress. This is often forgotten in our quest for the“ magic anticytokine bullet.” Is it possible that we have gone to the other end of the spectrum and have overlooked the beneficial role of cytokines?


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