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  • Meeting abstract
  • Open Access

Decrease of red blood cell sialic acid membrane content in septic patients

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Critical Care20004 (Suppl 1) :P17

  • Published:


  • Septic Shock
  • Sialic Acid
  • Septic Patient
  • Biochemical Modification
  • Membrane Content

Full text


Septic shock is a complex physiopathologic model with alterations in the microcirculation, occurring together with changes in biochemical and physiologic characteristics of the blood. Red blood cells (RBCs) of septic patients are characterized by a decreased deformability and an increased aggregatability. These events are also noted in RBCs of diabetic patients secondary to a reduction in sialic acid (SA) RBC membrane content.


To study the SA RBC membrane content in a septic population.


We studied blood samples in ICU patients without documented sepsis (n=20, age 69±12 years) and with documented sepsis (n=20, age 65±16 years).

SA was measured on isolated RBC membrane protein by a fluorimetric technique in high precision liquid chromatography (HPLC; Anumula).


We observed a significant decrease in SA in septic patients compared with nonseptic patients: SA 1.94±0.79 μg/100 μg protein and SA: 2.2±0.39 μg/100 μg protein (P=0.013), respectively for septic and nonseptic patients.


RBC of septic patients are characterized by a decrease in SA membrane content as described in diabetic patients. These data highlight another possible biochemical modification of RBC in sepsis.

Authors’ Affiliations

Experimental Medicine Laboratory, A. Vésale Hospital, ULB, Montigny-le-Tilleul, 6110, Belgium
Department of Intensive Care, A. Vésale Hospital, ULB, Montigny-le-Tilleul, 6110, Belgium


© Current Science Ltd 2000