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Title:What is sepsis?
Author(s):Valizadegan, Negin

Sepsis, an illness that affects millions of people worldwide every year, is a complicated and very heterogeneous life-threatening syndrome, wherein a host responds to infection with overt and wildly dysregulated responses leading to organ dysfunction. This image is a simplified depiction of the syndrome. The heterogeneity of the condition makes it difficult to pair precise immunological events to symptoms. The case here starts, as most cases do, with a lung infection. A pathogen and its pathogen-associated molecular patterns (PAMPs) are strongly recognized by host immune cells leading to the expression of inflammation, and destruction of host tissue leading to further amplification of inflammatory signal. As the response becomes systemic, coagulation is strongly activated, and a rising anti-inflammatory response leads to immune cell dysfunction and immunosuppression and widespread coagulopathy. The syndrome can quickly progress to multi-system organ failure and death. The patient may initially present with a range of symptoms during the hyperdynamic phase that are readily confused with trauma, before possibly progressing to shock and death.


This work was prepared in collaboration with Dr. Jessica Brinkworth who made significant contribution to the idea behind the visualization and closely monitored and contributed to the design process. The visualization was created in Illustrator by Negin Valizadegan.

Issue Date:2019
Rights Information:Copyright 2019 Negin Valizadegan
Date Available in IDEALS:2020-03-23

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