Sepsis Inflammation Lab
Overview: Dr. Vachharajani, a board certified Critical Care Physician, is an Associate Professor in the Department of Anesthesiology/Section on Critical Care Medicine at Wake Forest School of Medicine, with special interest in microvascular response in sepsis.
Sepsis and septic shock are the leading cause of mortality in non-coronary intensive care units worldwide. Patients with late sepsis have immune dysfunction that does not allow them to mount a robust inflammatory response to additional infectious insults. Dr. Vachharajani's laboratory studies the factors responsible for immune dysfunction in early vs. late sepsis.
Research focus: Sepsis and septic shock are responsible for over 250,000 deaths/ year in the US alone. The early systemic inflammatory response also incites the compensatory anti-inflammatory response in sepsis. This phenomenon is reflected differently in different phases of sepsis that include initial hyper-inflammatory phase followed by late, hypo-inflammatory phase that lead ultimately to death or recovery. The basic pathophysiologic differences in different phases of sepsis carry huge therapeutic implications while treating patients with sepsis. Thus, the ultimate fate of the patient with sepsis is decided by the balance between hyper-inflammatory and hypo-inflammatory phenotype.
Microvasculature located at a strategic interface between systemic inflammation and local tissue. Changes in microvasculature reflect and also govern the inflammatory response demonstrated at the tissue level. The earliest microvascular changes associated with inflammation are mediated by leukocyte-endothelial cell interactions, which are the rate limiting steps in the inflammatory response.
Dr. Vachharajani's laboratory focuses on early identification and regulation of these phases in sepsis-induced microvascular inflammation.