Cytokine Storm

Authors: David C. Fajgenbaum, M.D., and Carl H. June, M.D.

The severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) pandemic has reminded us of the critical role of an effective host immune response and the devastating effect of immune dysregulation. This year marks 10 years since the first description of a cytokine storm that developed after chimeric antigen receptor (CAR) T-cell therapy1 and 27 years since the term was first used in the literature to describe the engraftment syndrome of acute graft-versus-host disease after allogeneic hematopoietic stem-cell transplantation.2 The term “cytokine release syndrome” was coined to describe a similar syndrome after infusion of muromonab-CD3 (OKT3).3 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.

For More Information: https://www.nejm.org/doi/10.1056/NEJMra2026131

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