The effect of C1-esterase inhibitor in definite and suspected streptococcal toxic shock syndrome. Report of seven patients

Fronhoffs, Stefan; Luyken, Joachim; Steuer, Kurt; Hansis, Martin; Vetter, Hans; Walger, Peter
October 2000
Intensive Care Medicine;Oct2000, Vol. 26 Issue 10, p1566
Academic Journal
Objective: To evaluate the effect of adjunctive C1-esterase inhibitor substitution therapy on clinical characteristics and outcome of patients with streptococcal toxic shock syndrome (TSS). Design: Observational. Setting: Medizinische Poliklinik, University of Bonn, Germany. Patients: Seven patients with direct or indirect evidence of streptococcal TSS. Intervention: In addition to conventional and supportive therapy, all patients received 2–3 single doses of C1-esterase inhibitor totaling 6,000–10,000 U within the first 24 h after admission. Measurements and results: All patients developed fulminant septic shock, multiorgan failure and/or capillary leak syndrome and necrotizing fasciitis within 10–72 h following the onset of first symptoms. Between 1 and 4 days following administration of C1-esterase inhibitor, a marked shift of fluid from extravascular to intravascular compartments took place in all but one patient, accompanied by a transient intra-alveolar lung edema and rapidly decreasing need for adrenergic agents. Six of seven patients survived. Conclusions: These clinical observations in a small series of patients and the favorable outcome point towards a positive effect of early and high-dose administration of C1-esterase inhibitor as adjunctive therapy in streptococcal TSS. The possible mechanism involved may be the attenuation of capillary leak syndrome (CLS) via early inactivation of complement and contact systems. Controlled studies are needed to establish an improvement of the survival rates of patients with streptococcal TSS following administration of C1-esterase inhibitor.


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