Skip to main content
  • Poster presentation
  • Published:

Whole genome expression profiling in multiple trauma patients


Severe trauma may be followed by an uncontrolled inflammatory response that is associated with high mortality and morbidity and the patient is at high risk of developing MOF [1]. Serial gene expression analysis of peripheral blood obtained from patients with polytrauma should provide a molecular portrait of mechanisms leading to sepsis. Genome-wide transcriptional profiling will permit identification of novel predictive biomarkers for earlier diagnosis of sepsis and MOF than current strategies using serum markers and clinical scores.


Whole blood Paxgene samples were collected at the initial time point (TP 0) and then every 24 hours until day 28 post hospital admission from 21 patients with multiple trauma. Ten patients developed sepsis during the stay in the ICU while 11 remained nonseptic. Total RNA was isolated from peripheral blood of each patient at TP 0 and subjected to microarray analysis using the CodeLink UniSet Human I Bioarray (Amersham Bioscience) containing 9877 human genes. Data analysis was carried out using ImaGene5 (Amersham Bioscience), dChip and SAM


Multiple testing with a FDR of 1.1 [2] revealed in total 692 significantly regulated genes in septic patients at TP 0, of which 480 genes had significantly higher and 212 genes significantly lower expression levels compared with nonseptic patients at TP 0. The highly expressed genes were mainly involved in inflammatory and stress responses, apoptosis and development, while the lower expressed genes could be assigned to defense responses, protein biosynthesis and lipid binding. Hierarchical clustering of the samples clearly differentiated between the time point of admission and sepsis.


Statistical analysis of expression data enabled clear differentiation between nonseptic and septic traumatic patients at admission to the ICU (TP 0). Septic patients showed significant overexpression of genes involved in immune responses and antiapoptosis, indicating a strong inflammatory interaction at time of admission as compared with nonseptic patients. The early vigorous inflammatory response appears to activate a program, subsequently leading to SIRS and, finally, MOF.


  1. Menges T, et al.: Crit Care Med. 1999, 27: 733-740. 10.1097/00003246-199904000-00026

    Article  CAS  PubMed  Google Scholar 

  2. Storey JD, et al.: Proc Natl Acad Sci USA. 2003, 100: 9440-9445. 10.1073/pnas.1530509100

    Article  PubMed Central  CAS  PubMed  Google Scholar 

Download references


This work was supported by grants from the Ministry of Science and Education, Germany (NGFN 01GS0401).

Author information

Authors and Affiliations


Rights and permissions

Reprints and permissions

About this article

Cite this article

Little, S., Hossain, H., Tchatalbachev, S. et al. Whole genome expression profiling in multiple trauma patients. Crit Care 10 (Suppl 1), P146 (2006).

Download citation

  • Published:

  • DOI: