Cytokine release syndrome


  • Systemic inflammatory response syndrome that can be adverse effect of certain immunotherapies, such as monoclonal antibodies and CAR-T therapies (e.g. CART19 for leukemia)
  • Pathophysiology and presentation similar to sepsis
  • Severity ranges from mild flu-like illness to severe sepsis-like inflammatory response with shock, vascular leakage, DIC, and multi-organ system failure[1]

Clinical Features

Differential Diagnosis


Oncologic Emergencies

Related to Local Tumor Effects

Related to Biochemical Derangement

Related to Hematologic Derangement

Related to Therapy


Hospitals administering CAR-T therapies will often have very specific guidelines for initial workup



  • Admit or consider transfer to hospital with oncology

See Also

External Links


  1. Shimabukuro-vornhagen A, Gödel P, Subklewe M, et al. Cytokine release syndrome. J Immunother Cancer. 2018;6(1):56.