BACKGROUND:Septic cardiomyopathy (SCM) is common in sepsis and associated with increased morbidity and mortality. Left ventricular global longitudinal strain (LV GLS), measured by speckle tracking echocardiography, allows improved identification of impaired cardiac contractility. The peripheral blood transcriptome may be an important window into SCM pathophysiology. We therefore studied the peripheral blood transcriptome and LV GLS in a prospective cohort of patients with sepsis. RESULTS:In this single-center observational pilot study, we enrolled adult patients (age > 18) with sepsis within 48 h of admission to the ICU. SCM was defined as LV GLS > - 17% based on echocardiograms performed within 72 h of admission. We enrolled 27 patients, 24 of whom had high-quality RNA results; 18 (75%) of 24 had SCM. The group was 50% female and had a median (IQR) age of 59.5 (48.5-67.0) years and admission APACHE II score of 21.0 (16.0-32.3). Forty-six percent had septic shock. After filtering for low-expression and non-coding genes, 15,418 protein coding genes were expressed and 73 had significantly different expression between patients with vs. without SCM. In patients with SCM, 43 genes were upregulated and 30 were downregulated. Pathway analysis identified enrichment in type 1 interferon signaling (adjusted p < 10-5). CONCLUSIONS:In this hypothesis-generating study, SCM was associated with upregulation of genes in the type 1 interferon signaling pathway. Interferons are cytokines that stimulate the innate and adaptive immune response and are implicated in the early proinflammatory and delayed immunosuppression phases of sepsis. While type 1 interferons have not been implicated previously in SCM, interferon therapy (for viral hepatitis and Kaposi sarcoma) has been associated with reversible cardiomyopathy, perhaps suggesting a role for interferon signaling in SCM.