To examine the roles of thromboxane A2 and prostaglandin I2, which are arachidonic acid metabolites found in patients with sepsis, we measured the serum levels of their respective stable metabolites, thromboxane B2 (TXB2) and 6-keto-prostaglandin F1 alpha (6-keto-PGF1 alpha) in 22 patients with sepsis. Results were analyzed in relation to patients' survival. The levels of both TXB2 and 6-keto-PGF1 alpha were significantly higher in patients who died than in those who survived, thus reflecting the severity of the patients' illness. There was a significant correlation between the levels of TXB2 and 6-keto-PGF1 alpha. These findings suggest that TXA2 and PGI2 are chemical mediators involved in the severity of clinical sepsis.