Inflammation, a common problem for patients in the intensive care unit (ICU), frequently is associated with serious and prolonged critical illnesses. To date, no study has examined whether physical activity influences inflammatory factors in critically ill adults. The objectives of this study were to (a) examine the relationships between type and duration of physical activity and serum levels of interleukin 6 (IL-6), a proinflammatory cytokine; IL-10, an anti-inflammatory cytokine; and their ratio and (b) determine if there are associations between cytokines or their ratio and activity or outcomes. This descriptive feasibility study investigated the approaches to measuring levels of physical activity and its relationship to serum levels of IL-6 and IL-10 and the ratio between them in patients with prolonged mechanical ventilation during periods of activity and rest. Measurements included serum IL-6 and IL-10 levels, direct observation and actigraphy, and prospective chart review. Ten critically ill patients who were mechanically ventilated for an average of 10 days in a large, urban, teaching hospital were enrolled. The average ratio of IL-6 to IL-10 improved after an average of 14.7 min of passive physical activity, typically multiple in-bed turns associated with hygiene. IL-6, IL-10, and their ratio were not associated with patient outcomes of weaning success or length of stay. High levels of IL-6 were associated with mortality. Cytokine balance may be improved by low levels of activity among patients with prolonged critical illness. The pattern of cytokines produced after activity may improve patients' recovery from prolonged critical illness and mechanical ventilation.
Biological Research for Nursing
Winkelman, Chris; Higgins, Patricia A.; Chen, Yea-Jyh; Levine, Alan (2007). Cytokines in Chronically Critically Ill Patients After Activity and Rest. Biological Research for Nursing 8(4) 261-271. doi: 10.1177/1099800406298168. Retrieved from https://oaks.kent.edu/nurspubs/108