Significance of increased lipid peroxidation in critically ill patients.

OBJECTIVES: Increased oxidative stress and low-T3 syndrome may develop in critically ill patients. The study aimed at evaluating the level of lipid peroxidation (LPO) in critically ill patients and at estimating the relationships among LPO level, the death rate, the rate of low-T3 syndrome and patient's clinical status.

METHODS: Lipid peroxidation (LPO) level was studied in seventy (70) adult, critically ill patients and 48 healthy volunteers. Critically ill patients were classified into survivors and non-survivors, or those with and without the low-T3 syndrome (normal-T3).

RESULTS: LPO level was four times higher in critically ill patients than in healthy volunteers. Among non-survivors, LPO level was higher in patients with the low-T3 syndrome than in patients without this syndrome, and among survivors, the tendency was opposite. Additionally, the extent, to which LPO level increased, depended on the kind of the disease. The degree of LPO variability was higher in survivors than in non-survivors. LPO level was lower in patients with higher number of therapeutic interventions.

CONCLUSION: A tremendous increase in oxidative damage to lipids in critically ill patients strongly depends on the kind of pathological process and, under certain conditions, higher LPO levels could be due to more favourable outcome.

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