Clinical Presentation of Cytokine Storm -

Cytokine Storm

Early recognition of a cytokine storm in COVID-19 patients is crucial to ensure the best outcome for recovery, allowing treatment with a variety of biological agents that target the cytokines to reduce their levels.

Cytokine storm and cytokine release syndrome

Cytokine storm and cytokine release syndrome are life-threatening systemic inflammatory syndromes involving elevated levels of circulating cytokines and immune-cell hyperactivation that can be triggered by various therapies, pathogens, cancers, autoimmune conditions, and monogenic disorders.

A cytokine storm, also called hypercytokinemia, is a physiological reaction in humans and other animals in which the innate immune system causes an uncontrolled and excessive release of pro-inflammatory signaling molecules called cytokines. Normally, cytokines are part of the body's immune response to infection, but their sudden release in large quantities can cause multisystem organ failure and death.

Cytokine Storm

Cytokine storms can be caused by a number of infectious and non-infectious etiologies, especially viral respiratory infections such as H1N1 influenza, H5N1 influenza, SARS-CoV-1, and SARS-CoV-2, Influenza B, Parainfluenza virus. Other causative agents include the Epstein-Barr virus, cytomegalovirus, group A streptococcus, and non-infectious conditions such as graft-versus-host disease. The viruses can invade lung epithelial cells and alveolar macrophages to produce viral nucleic acid, which stimulates the infected cells to release cytokines and chemokines, activating macrophages, dendritic cells, and others.   

Back to previous page