• Plasma prekallikrein and functional kallikrein inhibition were studied in 18 surgical patients with complicating septicemia using chromogenic peptide substrate assays. Nine patients died and nine survived. In all 18 patients plasma prekallikrein values were reduced markedly when septicemia was diagnosed. During treatment gradually increasing values were found in the survivors, whereas values remained low in the fatal cases. Significantly reduced functional plasma kallikrein inhibition was associated with the development of fatal septic shock. The findings show that determination of these components of the plasma kallikrein-kinin system gives valuable information of prognostic value in patients with septicemia. Furthermore, the chromogenic peptide substrate assays used are fast and easy to perform and therefore suitable for intensive care medicine.
(Arch Surg 1983;118:343-346)