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Clinical and Developmental Immunology
Volume 2012, Article ID 962927, 10 pages
Review Article

Role of Complement in Multiorgan Failure

1Division of Trauma Surgery, Department of Surgery, University Hospital Zurich, Raemistrasse 100, 8091 Zurich, Switzerland
2Ludwig Boltzmann Institute for Experimental and Clinical Traumatology, AUVA Research Center for Traumatology, 1200 Vienna, Austria
3Department of Traumatology, Hand-, Plastic-, and Reconstructive Surgery, University Hospital Ulm, 89075 Ulm, Germany

Received 6 September 2012; Accepted 11 November 2012

Academic Editor: Michael A. Flierl

Copyright © 2012 Daniel Rittirsch et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Multiorgan failure (MOF) represents the leading cause of death in patients with sepsis and systemic inflammatory response syndrome (SIRS) following severe trauma. The underlying immune response is highly complex and involves activation of the complement system as a crucial entity of innate immunity. Uncontrolled activation of the complement system during sepsis and SIRS with in excessive generation of complement activation products contributes to an ensuing dysfunction of various organ systems. In the present review, mechanisms of the inflammatory response in the development of MOF in sepsis and SIRS with particular focus on the complement system are discussed.