Cellular oxygen metabolism relevant for the diagnosis of sepsis?

New technique enables measurement of cellular oxygen metabolism in critically ill patients


Disturbed tissue oxygenation as a result of a mismatch between oxygen supply and oxygen consumption is one of the main features of septic shock. The mitochondria are primarily responsible for the regulation of cellular oxygen metabolism and are thus potential target organs for assessing tissue oxygenation and detecting potential disorders. With the protoporphyrin IX-triplet state lifetime technique (PpIX-TSLT) it is possible to measure the mitochondrial oxygen tension (mitoPO2) directly in the skin and non-invasively. This could be beneficial for the critically ill patient. A team of the research group Translational Septomics and the Clinic for Anesthesiology and Intensive Care Medicine of the UKJ tested the use of the Cellular Oxygen Metabolism (COMET) Monitor, a device using the PpIX-TSLT, in patients with sepsis. The studies published in Frontiers in Immunology show that PpIX-TSLT measurements are feasible in the acute phase of sepsis, during treatment in the intensive care unit, and provide first indications that, in addition to mitoPO2, mitochondrial oxygen consumption (mitoVO2) and mitochondrial oxygen delivery (mitoDO2) may be of potential relevance for the diagnosis of sepsis.

Original publication:

Neu C, Baumbach P, Plooij AK, Skitek K, Götze J, von Loeffelholz C, Schmidt-Winter C, Coldewey SM (2020) Non-Invasive Assessment of Mitochondrial Oxygen Metabolism in the Critically Ill Patient Using the Protoporphyrin IX‐Triplet State Lifetime Technique – a Feasibility Study. Front. Immunol., https://doi.org/10.3389/fimmu.2020.00757

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