Patients undergoing surgery often develop postoperative systemic inflammatory
response syndrome (SIRS) in response to trauma, ischaemia, inflammation and/ or
infection. When due to infection, SIRS may be self limiting or may progress to severe
Early detection of post-operative infection can be difficult as many signs and symptoms
of inflammation may actually mimic an infectious process. Numerous laboratory values
have been used in detection and monitoring of infectious sequelae of surgery.
The early diagnosis of bacterial infections, however, still remains a formidable challenge.
A delay in diagnosis of infections in post-operative phase can lead to sepsis which is
associated with high morbidity and mortality.
The clinical signs of the patient may sometimes be insufficient to give precise assessment
of inflammatory response to surgical trauma. A variety of techniques to measure the
inflammatory markers have been utilised to detect patients in borderline condition and at
a risk of slipping into post-operative infectious complications.