T-helper cell polarisation following severe polytrauma

Torrance, H. D. T., Brohi, K., Warnes, G., Owen, Helen C., Hinds, C. J., Pennington, D. J. and O'Dwyer, M. J. (2015) T-helper cell polarisation following severe polytrauma. Intensive Care Medicine Experimental 2015 3(Suppl 1). In: ESICM LIVES 2015: 28th Annual Congress of European Society of Intensive Care Medicine, 03-07 October 2015, Berlin, Germany. . ISSN 2197-425X [Conference or Workshop Item] (doi:10.1186/2197-425X-3-S1-A848)

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Severe polytrauma induces an immunosuppressive response and is associated with a very high incidence of nosocomial infections. Previous studies have inferred that this detrimental immune response results from polarisation of the T helper (Th) response towards an anti-inflammatory, TH2 dominated, response at the expense of a bactericidal, Th1 response [1].


1) To define alterations in TH cell subsets following severe blunt polytrauma.


Patients presenting to the emergency department within 2 hours of severe polytrauma were eligible if intubated either at the scene or in ED. Isolated head injuries and those not expected to survive 24 hours were excluded. EDTA anti-coagulated blood was drawn at 0hr (within 2 hours of injury), at 24 and 72hrs. Samples were immediately lysed, washed, stained and analysed using a standardised human 8-colour TH 1, 2 & 17 panel [2] on an LSR II flow cytometer. A paired white cell count differential was obtained at each sampling point. Patients were followed until discharge or death. Data were analysed using non-parametric statistics, with results presented as median and IQR.


15 consecutive severe polytrauma patients requiring Intensive Care Unit (ICU) admission were recruited. Demographic and clinical data are outlined in Figure 1. Twelve (80%) lymphocytosis (3.3x109/L, 2.5 - 4.4x109/L) (Figyre 2A). At 72 hours leukocytes had fallen (P < 0.01, figure 2A) such that 6 (54%) of those surviving were lymphopenic (0.9x109/L, 0.6 - 1.2x109/L). Circulating CD4+ (P = 0.01; Figure 2B) and CD4+CD25+ (P < 0.05) lymphocytes increased over 72 hours. When expressed as a percentage of total circulating lymphocytes no significant change in the proportions of the TH 1, 2 & 17 subpopulations was detected (Figure 2C-E).


Severe polytrauma patients swiftly become lymphopenic. Although a failure to normalise this during the ICU stay correlates with higher mortality [3] our study of TH cell subtypes demonstrates no evidence of a switch to a detrimental anti-inflammatory TH2 subtype at the expense of the potentially protective bactericidal TH1 subtype.

Item Type: Conference or Workshop Item (Poster)
Additional Information: Published in meeting abstract book as: Torrance et al.: T-helper cell polarisation following
severe polytrauma. Intensive Care Medicine Experimental 2015 3(Suppl 1): A848
Research Areas: A. > School of Science and Technology > Natural Sciences
Item ID: 20022
Notes on copyright: Full text: © Torrance et al.; 2015
This article is published under license to BioMed Central Ltd. This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0), which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.
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Depositing User: Helen Roberts
Date Deposited: 14 Jun 2016 11:20
Last Modified: 09 Jun 2021 21:32
URI: https://eprints.mdx.ac.uk/id/eprint/20022

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