Abbreviated as CRS, Cytokine Release Syndrome refers to the immune system’s aggressive response to infection. In many cases, it may also happen as an outcome of any immunotherapy or particular medical treatments. Abnormally high cytokine levels can cause various symptoms, including nausea, fever, and headache. The increased cytokines lead to harmful levels of inflammation in the body, which hinders normal bodily functions.
It takes little time for CRS symptoms to be harsh in a body. The treatments for CRS include techniques that reduce the immune response. The covid-19 disease has a link with cytokine release syndrome. Here, the article outlines vital aspects that you should know about the syndrome.
The condition can impact many organs. The symptoms can be associated with the seriousness of the inflammation and can range from mild to severe. Some common symptoms of CRS include appetite loss, rashes, nausea, vomiting, tiredness, fever, diarrhea, body aches, and headaches.
CRS affects organ systems differently. Therefore, a person may also have some other symptoms such as a drop in blood pressure, edema, poor heart functions, irregular heartbeat, and an increase in heart rate.
The syndrome may also interfere with the central nervous system causing confusion, seizures, dizziness, hallucinations, difficulty in swallowing, and movement problems.
A person who has their lungs affected by CRS may experience a cough, shortness of breath, reduced lung functioning, difficulty in breathing. It may also affect the functions of the liver and kidneys in the body. There is no denying that CRS affects every system of the body and causes severity.
As said above, the syndrome is an outcome of immunotherapy- the treatment that encourages the body to attack pathogens among cancer or tumor patients. Many times, doctors use this treatment to treat conditions like rheumatoid arthritis and Crohn’s disease.
In many cases, several types of immunotherapy cause CRS. The treatment includes T-cell transfer therapy, which takes immune cells from a tumor and prepares it the attack the cancerous cells & monoclonal antibody therapy, which involves the creation of proteins in the lab that latch onto cancer cells. The job of these proteins is to target and destroy cancer cells. Both immunotherapies can cause a large and rapid release of cytokines which may lead to CRS.
CRS can also be a result of infection. For instance, the virus will trigger the immune system and may overreact and release excessive cytokines causing CRS.
SARS-CoV-2 causes coronavirus disease. When a person gets infected, their immune system responds by causing inflammation. In the case of a quick immune response, it may result in CRS. It can cause the severity of symptoms and even death in some people with Covid-19. Researchers are learning more about cytokine release assay to develop a medicine for the treatment of CRS. Scientists need to perform some more studies to have a better understanding of approaching CRS in Covid-19 patients.
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