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1.  Pro-adrenomedullin to predict severity and outcome in community-acquired pneumonia [ISRCTN04176397] 
Critical Care  2006;10(3):R96.
Pro-adrenomedullin (proADM) is helpful for individual risk assessment and outcome prediction in sepsis. A major cause of sepsis is community-acquired pneumonia (CAP). The aim of this study was to investigate the value of proADM levels for severity assessment and outcome prediction in CAP.
Data from 302 patients admitted to the emergency department with CAP were included in a prospective observational study. Procalcitonin, C-reactive protein levels, leukocyte count, clinical variables and the pneumonia severity index (PSI) were measured. ProADM levels were measured with a new sandwich immunoassay for mid regional ProADM (MR-proADM, Brahms AG, Hennigsdorf/Berlin, Germany).
ProADM levels, in contrast to C-reactive protein and leukocyte count, increased with increasing severity of CAP, classified according to the PSI score (ANOVA, p < 0.001). In patients who died during follow-up, proADM levels on admission were significantly higher compared to levels in survivors (2.1 (1.5 to 3.0) versus 1.0 (0.6 to 1.6) nmol/l, p < 0.001). In a receiver operating characteristic (ROC) analysis for survival, the area under the ROC curve (AUC) for proADM was 0.76 (95% confidence interval (CI) 0.71–0.81), which was significantly higher compared to procalcitonin (p = 0.004), C-reactive protein (p < 0.001) and total leukocyte count (p = 0.001) and similar to the AUC of the PSI (0.73, p = 0.54). A clinical model including the PSI and proADM increased the prognostic accuracy to predict failure compared to a model relying on the PSI alone (AUC, 0.77 (0.70 to 0.84), p = 0.03).
ProADM, as a novel biomarker, is a useful tool for the risk stratification of patients with CAP.
PMCID: PMC1550935  PMID: 16805922
2.  Enhancement of CURB65 score with proadrenomedullin (CURB65-A) for outcome prediction in lower respiratory tract infections: Derivation of a clinical algorithm 
BMC Infectious Diseases  2011;11:112.
Proadrenomedullin (ProADM) confers additional prognostic information to established clinical risk scores in lower respiratory tract infections (LRTI). We aimed to derive a practical algorithm combining the CURB65 score with ProADM-levels in patients with community-acquired pneumonia (CAP) and non-CAP-LRTI.
We used data of 1359 patients with LRTI enrolled in a multicenter study. We chose two ProADM cut-off values by assessing the association between ProADM levels and the risk of adverse events and mortality. A composite score (CURB65-A) was created combining CURB65 classes with ProADM cut-offs to further risk-stratify patients.
CURB65 and ProADM predicted both adverse events and mortality similarly well in CAP and non-CAP-LRTI. The combined CURB65-A risk score provided better prediction of death and adverse events than the CURB65 score in the entire cohort and in CAP and non-CAP-LRTI patients. Within each CURB65 class, higher ProADM-levels were associated with an increased risk of adverse events and mortality. Overall, risk of adverse events (3.9%) and mortality (0.65%) was low for patients with CURB65 score 0-1 and ProADM ≤0.75 nmol/l (CURB65-A risk class I); intermediate (8.6% and 2.6%, respectively) for patients with CURB65 score of 2 and ProADM ≤1.5 nmol/l or CURB classes 0-1 and ProADM levels between 0.75-1.5 nmol/L (CURB65-A risk class II), and high (21.6% and 9.8%, respectively) for all other patients (CURB65-A risk class III). If outpatient treatment was recommended for CURB65-A risk class I and short hospitalization for CURB65-A risk class II, 17.9% and 40.8% of 1217 hospitalized patients could have received ambulatory treatment or a short hospitalization, respectively.
The new CURB65-A risk score combining CURB65 risk classes with ProADM cut-off values accurately predicts adverse events and mortality in patients with CAP and non-CAP-LRTI. Additional prospective cohort or intervention studies need to validate this score and demonstrate its safety and efficacy for the management of patients with LRTI.
Trial Registration
Procalcitonin-guided antibiotic therapy and hospitalisation in patients with lower respiratory tract infections: the prohosp study; Identifier: ISRCTN: ISRCTN95122877
PMCID: PMC3119069  PMID: 21539743
3.  Midregional pro-Adrenomedullin in addition to b-type natriuretic peptides in the risk stratification of patients with acute dyspnea: an observational study 
Critical Care  2009;13(4):R122.
The identification of patients at highest risk for adverse outcome who are presenting with acute dyspnea to the emergency department remains a challenge. This study investigates the prognostic value of the newly described midregional fragment of the pro-Adrenomedullin molecule (MR-proADM) alone and combined to B-type natriuretic peptide (BNP) or N-terminal proBNP (NT-proBNP) in patients with acute dyspnea.
We conducted a prospective, observational cohort study in the emergency department of a University Hospital and enrolled 287 unselected, consecutive patients (48% women, median age 77 (range 68 to 83) years) with acute dyspnea.
MR-proADM levels were elevated in non-survivors (n = 77) compared to survivors (median 1.9 (1.2 to 3.2) nmol/L vs. 1.1 (0.8 to 1.6) nmol/L; P < 0.001). The areas under the receiver operating characteristic curve (AUC) to predict 30-day mortality were 0.81 (95% CI 0.73 to 0.90), 0.76 (95% CI 0.67 to 0.84) and 0.63 (95% CI 0.53 to 0.74) for MR-proADM, NT-proBNP and BNP, respectively (MRproADM vs. NTproBNP P = 0.38; MRproADM vs. BNP P = 0.009). For one-year mortality the AUC were 0.75 (95% CI 0.69 to 0.81), 0.75 (95% CI 0.68 to 0.81), 0.69 (95% CI 0.62 to 0.76) for MR-proADM, NT-proBNP and BNP, respectively without any significant difference. Using multivariate linear regression analysis, MR-proADM strongly predicted one-year all-cause mortality independently of NT-proBNP and BNP levels (OR = 10.46 (1.36 to 80.50), P = 0.02 and OR = 24.86 (3.87 to 159.80) P = 0.001, respectively). Using quartile approaches, Kaplan-Meier curve analyses demonstrated a stepwise increase in one-year all-cause mortality with increasing plasma levels (P < 0.0001). Combined levels of MR-proADM and NT-proBNP did risk stratify acute dyspneic patients into a low (90% one-year survival rate), intermediate (72 to 82% one-year survival rate) or high risk group (52% one-year survival rate).
MR-proADM alone or combined to NT-proBNP has a potential to assist clinicians in risk stratifying patients presenting with acute dyspnea regardless of the underlying disease.
PMCID: PMC2750172  PMID: 19627611
4.  Mid-regional pro-adrenomedullin as a prognostic marker in sepsis: an observational study 
Critical Care  2005;9(6):R816-R824.
Measurement of biomarkers is a potential approach to early assessment and prediction of mortality in patients with sepsis. The aim of the present study was to evaluate the prognostic value of mid-regional pro-adrenomedullin (MR-proADM) levels in a cohort of medical intensive care patients and to compare it with other biomarkers and physiological scores.
We evaluated blood samples from 101 consecutive critically ill patients admitted to the intensive care unit and from 160 age-matched healthy control individuals. The patients had initially been enrolled in a prospective observational study investigating the prognostic value of endocrine dysfunction in critically ill patients ("PEDCRIP" Study). The prognostic value of MR-proADM levels was compared with those of two physiological scores and of various biomarkers (for example C-reactive Protein, IL-6, procalcitonin). MR-proADM was measured in EDTA plasma from all patients using a new sandwich immunoassay.
On admission, 53 patients had sepsis, severe sepsis, or septic shock, and 48 had systemic inflammatory response syndrome. Median MR-proADM levels on admission (nmol/l [range]) were 1.1 (0.3–3.7) in patients with systemic inflammatory response syndrome, 1.8 (0.4–5.8) in those with sepsis, 2.3 (1.0–17.6) in those with severe sepsis and 4.5 (0.9–21) in patients with septic shock. In healthy control individuals the median MR-proADM was 0.4 (0.21–0.97). On admission, circulating MR-proADM levels in patients with sepsis, severe sepsis, or septic shock were significantly higher in nonsurvivors (8.5 [0.8–21.0]; P < 0.001) than in survivors (1.7 [0.4–17.6]). In a receiver operating curve analysis of survival of patients with sepsis, the area under the curve (AUC) for MR-proADM was 0.81, which was similar to the AUCs for IL-6, Acute Physiology and Chronic Health Evaluation II score and Simplified Acute Physiology Score II. The prognostic value of MR-proADM was independent of the sepsis classification system used.
MR-proADM may be helpful in individual risk assessment in septic patients.
PMCID: PMC1414007  PMID: 16356231
5.  Pro-adrenomedullin, pro-endothelin-1, procalcitonin, C-reactive protein and mortality risk in critically ill children: a prospective study 
Critical Care  2013;17(5):R240.
We tested the hypothesis that higher mid-regional pro-adrenomedullin (MR-proADM), carboxy-terminal pro-endothelin-1 (CT-proET-1), procalcitonin (PCT) and C-reactive protein (CRP) plasma concentrations would be associated with increased prediction of mortality risk scores.
Prospective observational study set in two pediatric intensive care units (PICUs). Two-hundred-thirty-eight patients were included. MR-proADM, CT-proET-1, PCT and CRP levels were compared between children with PRISM III and PIM 2 > p75 (Group A; n = 33) and the rest (Group B; n = 205).
Median (range) MR-proADM levels were 1.39 nmol/L (0.52–12.67) in group A versus 0.54 (0.15–3.85) in group B (P < 0.001). CT-proET-1 levels were 172 pmol/L (27–500) versus 58 (4–447) (P < 0.001). PCT levels were 7.77 ng/mL (0.34–552.00) versus 0.28 (0.02–107.00) (P < 0.001). CRP levels were 6.23 mg/dL (0.08-28.25) versus 1.30 mg/dL (0.00-42.09) (P = 0.210). The area under the ROC curve (AUC) for the differentiation of group A and B was 0.87 (95% CI:0.81–0.821) for MR-proADM, 0.86 (95% CI:0.79–0.92) for CT-proET-1 and 0.84 (95% CI:0.74–0.94) for PCT. A MR-proADM > 0.79 nmol/L had 93% sensitivity and 76% specificity to differentiate groups, whereas a CT-proET-1 > 123 pmol/L had 77% sensitivity and 84% specificity, and a PCT concentration > 2.05 ng/mL had 80% sensitivity and specificity.
In critically ill children, high levels of MR-proADM, CT-proET-1 and PCT were associated with increased prediction of mortality risk scores. MR-proADM, CT-proET-1 and PCT concentrations higher than 0.80 nmol/L, 123 pmol/L and 2 ng/mL, respectively, could be used by clinicians to identify critically ill children at higher prediction of risk death scores.
PMCID: PMC3840693  PMID: 24131732
6.  Circulating Precursor Levels of Endothelin-1 and Adrenomedullin, Two Endothelium-Derived, Counteracting Substances, in Sepsis 
Endothelium   2007;14(6):345-351.
Plasma levels of endothelin-1 (ET-1) and adrenomedullin (ADM), two opposingly acting peptides, correlate with mortality in endotoxemia, but their measurement is cumbersome. New sandwich assays have been introduced that measure more stable precursor fragments. The objective of this study was to investigate the counterplay of their precursor peptides in septic patients and to compare them with disease severity and other biomarkers. Blood samples of an observational study in 95 consecutive critically ill patients admitted to the intensive care unit (ICU) were analyzed. CT-proET-1 and MR-proADM concentrations on admission were measured using new sandwich immunoassays. Depending on the clinical severity of the infection, both CT-proET-1 and MR-proADM levels exhibited a gradual increase from Systemic Inflammatory Response Syndrome (SIRS) to sepsis and septic shock (p < .001). Compared to the group of survivors, the group of non-survivors had higher median values of MR-proADM (5.7 nmol/L [range 0.4 to 21.0] versus 1.9 nmol/L [range 0.3 to 17.1], p < .02) and similar CT-proET-1 levels (56.0pmol/L [range 0.5 to 271.0] versus 54.1pmol/L [range 1.0 to 506.0], p = .86). Receiver operating characteristics (ROC) curve analysis showed a higher prognostic accuracy of the calculated ratio of both counteracting substances as compared to CT-proET-1 (p = 0.001) and C-reactive protein (CRP) (p = .001) and in the range of MR-proADM (p = .51), procalcitonin (p = 0.22), and the APACHE II score (p = .61). Endothelin-1 and adrenomedullin precursor peptides gradually increase with increasing severities of infection in critically ill patients. The ratio of the two counteracting peptides correlates with mortality and shows aprognostic accuracy to predict adverse outcome comparable to the APACHE II score.
PMCID: PMC2430170  PMID: 18080871
Endothelin-1; Adrenomedullin; Ratio; ICU; Sepsis
7.  Mid-regional pro-atrial natriuretic peptide and pro-adrenomedullin testing for the diagnostic and prognostic evaluation of patients with acute dyspnoea 
European Heart Journal  2012;33(17):2197-2205.
The aim of this study was to assess diagnostic and prognostic value of mid-regional pro-atrial natriuretic peptide (MR-proANP) and adrenomedullin (MR-proADM) for the evaluation of patients presenting to the emergency department with acute dyspnoea.
Methods and results
A total of 560 patients from the pro-B type natriuretic peptide Investigation of Dyspnoea in the Emergency Department were evaluated; 180 had acutely decompensated heart failure (ADHF). Concentrations of amino-terminal pro-B type natriuretic peptide (NT-proBNP), MR-proADM, and MR-proANP were measured, and patients were followed to 4 years for survival. Logistic regression evaluated utility of MR-proANP in ADHF diagnosis. Area under the curve (AUC), multivariate Cox regression, net reclassification improvement, and Kaplan–Meier survival analyses were used for mortality analyses. Mid-regional pro-atrial natriuretic peptide was higher in patients with ADHF (median 329 vs. 58 pmol/L; P < 0.001), and remained an independent predictor of HF diagnosis even when NT-proBNP was included as a covariate (odds ratio = 4.34, 95% CI = 2.11–8.92; P < 0.001). In time-dependent analyses, MR-proADM had the highest AUC for death during the first year; after 1 year, MR-proANP and NT-proBNP had a higher AUC. Both mid-regional peptides were independently prognostic and reclassified risk at 1 year [MR-proANP, hazard ratio (HR) = 2.99, MR-proADM, HR = 2.70; both P < 0.001] and at 4 years (MR-proANP, HR = 3.12, P < 0.001; MR-proADM, HR = 1.51, P = 0.03) and in Kaplan–Meier curves both mid-regional peptides were associated with death out to 4 years, individually or in a multimarker strategy.
Among patients with acute dyspnoea, MR-proANP is accurate for diagnosis of ADHF, while both MR-proANP and MR-proADM are independently prognostic to 4 years of the follow-up.
PMCID: PMC3432234  PMID: 22645194
Diagnosis; Prognosis; Biomarker; Heart failure
8.  Procalcitonin, pyuria and proadrenomedullin in the management of urinary tract infections – ‘triple p in uti’: study protocol for a randomized controlled trial 
Trials  2013;14:84.
Urinary tract infections (UTIs) are among the most common infectious diseases and drivers of antibiotic use and in-hospital days. A reduction of antibiotic use potentially lowers the risk of antibiotic resistance. An early and adequate risk assessment combining medical, biopsychosocial and functional risk scores has the potential to optimize site-of-care decisions and thus allocation of limited health-care resources. The aim of this factorial design study is twofold: first, for Intervention A, it investigates antibiotic exposure of patients treated with a protocol based on the type of UTI, procalcitonin (PCT) and pyuria. Second, for Intervention B, it investigates the usefulness of the prognostic biomarker proadrenomedullin (ProADM) integrated into an interdisciplinary assessment bundle for site-of-care decisions.
Methods and design
This randomized controlled open-label trial has a factorial design (2 × 2). Randomization of patients will be based on a pre-specified computer-generated randomization list and independent for the two interventions. Adults with UTI presenting to the emergency department (ED) will be screened and enrolled after providing informed consent.
For our first Intervention (A), we developed a protocol based on previous observational research to recommend initiation and duration of antibiotic use based on the clinical presentation of UTI, pyuria and PCT levels. For our second intervention (B), an algorithm was developed to support site-of care decisions based on the prognostic marker ProADM and distinct nursing factors on days 1 and 3. Both interventions will be compared with a control group conforming to the guidelines.
The primary endpoints for the two interventions will be: (A) overall exposure to antibiotics and (B) length of physician-led hospitalization within a follow-up of 30 days. Endpoints are assessed at discharge from hospital, and 30 and 90 days after admission. We plan to screen 300 patients and enroll 250 for an anticipated estimated loss of follow-up of 20%. This will provide adequate power for the two interventions.
This trial investigates two strategies for improved individualized medical care in patients with UTI. The minimally effective duration of antibiotic therapy is not known for UTIs, which is important for reducing the selection pressure for antibiotic resistance, costs and drug-related side effects. Triage decisions must be improved to reflect the true medical, biopsychosocial and functional risks in order to allocate patients to the most appropriate care setting and reduce hospital-acquired disability.
Trial registration
Trial registration number: ISRCTN13663741
PMCID: PMC3614534  PMID: 23522152
9.  Prohormones for prediction of adverse medical outcome in community-acquired pneumonia and lower respiratory tract infections 
Critical Care  2010;14(3):R106.
Measurement of prohormones representing different pathophysiological pathways could enhance risk stratification in patients with community-acquired pneumonia (CAP) and other lower respiratory tract infections (LRTI).
We assessed clinical parameters and five biomarkers, the precursor levels of adrenomedullin (ADM), endothelin-1 (ET1), atrial-natriuretic peptide (ANP), anti-diuretic hormone (copeptin), and procalcitonin in patients with LRTI and CAP enrolled in the multicenter ProHOSP study. We compared the prognostic accuracy of these biomarkers with the pneumonia severity index (PSI) and CURB65 (Confusion, Urea, Respiratory rate, Blood pressure, Age 65) score to predict serious complications defined as death, ICU admission and disease-specific complications using receiver operating curves (ROC) and reclassification methods.
During the 30 days of follow-up, 134 serious complications occurred in 925 (14.5%) patients with CAP. Both PSI and CURB65 overestimated the observed mortality (X2 goodness of fit test: P = 0.003 and 0.01). ProADM or proET1 alone had stronger discriminatory powers than the PSI or CURB65 score or any of either score components to predict serious complications. Adding proADM alone (or all five biomarkers jointly) to the PSI and CURB65 scores, significantly increased the area under the curve (AUC) for PSI from 0.69 to 0.75, and for CURB65 from 0.66 to 0.73 (P < 0.001, for both scores). Reclassification methods also established highly significant improvement (P < 0.001) for models with biomarkers if clinical covariates were more flexibly adjusted for. The developed prediction models with biomarkers extrapolated well if evaluated in 434 patients with non-CAP LRTIs.
Five biomarkers from distinct biologic pathways were strong and specific predictors for short-term adverse outcome and improved clinical risk scores in CAP and non-pneumonic LRTI. Intervention studies are warranted to show whether an improved risk prognostication with biomarkers translates into a better clinical management and superior allocation of health care resources.
Trial Registration
PMCID: PMC2911752  PMID: 20529344
10.  Plasma Midregional Pro-Adrenomedullin Improves Prediction of Functional Outcome in Ischemic Stroke 
PLoS ONE  2013;8(7):e68768.
To evaluate if plasma levels of midregional pro-adrenomedullin (MR-proADM) improve prediction of functional outcome in ischemic stroke.
In 168 consecutive ischemic stroke patients, plasma levels of MR-proADM were measured within 24 hours from symptom onset. Functional outcome was assessed by the modified Rankin Scale (mRS) at 90 days following stroke. Logistic regression, receiver operating characteristics (ROC) curve analysis, net reclassification improvement (NRI), and Kaplan-Meier survival analysis were applied.
Plasma MR-proADM levels were found significantly higher in patients with unfavourable (mRS 3–6) compared to favourable (mRS 0–2) outcomes. MR-proADM levels were entered into a predictive model including the patients' age, National Institutes of Health Stroke Scale (NIHSS), and the use of recanalization therapy. The area under the ROC curve did not increase significantly. However, category-free NRI of 0.577 (p<0.001) indicated a significant improvement in reclassification of patients. Furthermore, MR-proADM levels significantly improved reclassification of patients in the prediction of outcome by the Stroke Prognostication using Age and NIHSS-100 (SPAN-100; NRI = 0.175; p = 0.04). Kaplan-Meier survival analysis showed a rising risk of death with increasing MR-proADM quintiles.
Plasma MR-proADM levels improve prediction of functional outcome in ischemic stroke when added to the patients' age, NIHSS on admission, and the use of recanalization therapy. Levels of MR-proADM in peripheral blood improve reclassification of patients when the SPAN-100 is used to predict the patients' functional outcome.
PMCID: PMC3718829  PMID: 23894342
11.  Biomarker-enhanced triage in respiratory infections: a proof-of-concept feasibility trial 
The European Respiratory Journal  2013;42(4):1064-1075.
Concerns about inadequate performance and complexity limit routine use of clinical risk scores in lower respiratory tract infections. Our aim was to study feasibility and effects of adding the biomarker proadrenomedullin (proADM) to the confusion, urea >7 mmol·L−1, respiratory rate ≥30 breaths·min−1, blood pressure <90 mmHg (systolic) or ≤60 mmHg (diastolic), age ≥65 years (CURB-65) score on triage decisions and length of stay.
In a randomised controlled proof-of-concept intervention trial, triage and discharge decisions were made for adults with lower respiratory tract infection according to interprofessional assessment using medical and nursing risk scores either without (control group) or with (proADM group) knowledge of proADM values, measured on admission, and on days 3 and 6. An adjusted generalised linear model was calculated to investigate the effect of our intervention.
On initial presentation the algorithms were overruled in 123 (39.3%) of the cases. Mean length of stay tended to be shorter in the proADM (n=154, 6.3 days) compared with the control group (n=159, 6.8 days; adjusted regression coefficient -0.19, 95% CI -0.41–0.04; p=0.1). This trend was robust in subgroup analyses and for overall length of stay within 90 days (7.2 versus 7.9 days; adjusted regression coefficient -0.18, 95% CI -0.40–0.05; p=0.13). There were no differences in adverse outcomes or readmission.
Logistic obstacles and overruling are major challenges to implement biomarker-enhanced algorithms in clinical settings and need to be addressed to shorten length of stay.
Proof-of-concept trial: how to shorten LOS in patients with LRTIs by reducing medically unnecessary days in the hospital
PMCID: PMC3787815  PMID: 23349444
12.  Plasma adrenomedullin is associated with short-term mortality and vasopressor requirement in patients admitted with sepsis 
Critical Care  2014;18(1):R34.
The incidence of death among patients admitted for severe sepsis or septic shock is high. Adrenomedullin (ADM) plays a central role in initiating the hyperdynamic response during the early stages of sepsis. Pilot studies indicate an association of plasma ADM with the severity of the disease. In the present study we utilized a novel sandwich immunoassay of bioactive plasma ADM in patients hospitalized with sepsis in order to assess the clinical utility.
We enrolled 101 consecutive patients admitted to the emergency department with suspected sepsis in this study. Sepsis was defined by fulfillment of at least two systemic inflammatory response syndrome (SIRS) criteria plus clinical suspicion of infection. Plasma samples for ADM measurement were obtained on admission and for the next four days. The 28-day mortality rate was recorded.
ADM at admission was associated with severity of disease (correlation with Acute Physiology and Chronic Health Evaluation II (APACHE II) score: r = 0.46; P <0.0001). ADM was also associated with 28-day mortality (ADM median (IQR): survivors: 50 (31 to 77) pg/mL; non-survivors: 84 (48 to 232) pg/mL; P <0.001) and was independent from and additive to APACHE II (P = 0.02). Cox regression analysis revealed an additive value of serial measurement of ADM over baseline assessment for prediction of 28-day mortality (P < 0.01). ADM was negatively correlated with mean arterial pressure (r = -0.39; P <0.0001), and it strongly discriminated those patients requiring vasopressor therapy from the others (ADM median (IQR): no vasopressors 48 (32 to 75) pg/mL; with vasopressors 129 (83 to 264) pg/mL, P <0.0001).
In patients admitted with sepsis, severe sepsis or septic shock plasma ADM is strongly associated with severity of disease, vasopressor requirement and 28-day mortality.
PMCID: PMC4056312  PMID: 24533868
13.  Relation of Natriuretic Peptides and Midregional Proadrenomedullin to Cardiac Chamber Volumes by Computed Tomography in Patients without Heart Failure: From the ROMICAT Trial 
Clinical chemistry  2010;56(4):651-660.
Stress myocyte biomarkers are used prognostically in patients with cardiovascular disease. We examined associations between amino-terminal pro–B-type natriuretic peptide (NT-proBNP), midregional pro–A-type natriuretic peptide (MR-proANP), and midregional proadrenomedullin (MR-proADM) concentrations and cardiac chamber volumes in chest pain patients without heart failure by use of computed tomography (CT).
At the time of 64-slice CT scan, we acquired plasma and serum samples for these biomarkers from 346 patients [mean (SD) age 53 (12) years, 65% men]. Left atrial volume (LAV) and left ventricular volumes at end-diastole (LVEDV) and end-systole (LVESV) were measured and indexed to body surface area (LAVI, LVEDI, LVESI).
Concentrations of both natriuretic peptides were correlated with LAV and LAVI (r=0.19–0.32, all P ≤ 0.0005) and MR-proADM with LV volumes and indices (r=−0.14 to −0.21, all P ≤ 0.01). NT-proBNP and MR-proANP concentrations were higher in the top quartiles of patients than the lowest quartiles using LAV and LAVI, whereas MR-proADM concentrations were lower in the top quartiles of LV measures. In adjusted analyses, patients had 2- to 4-fold increased risk of LA enlargement for every incremental increase in log10NT-proBNP [LAV odds ratio (OR) 2.4, P = 0.03; LAVI OR 4.0, P = 0.003] and 10- to 13-fold increased risk of LA enlargement for every incremental increase in log10MR-proANP (LAV OR 10.7, P = 0.009; LAVI OR 13.1, P = 0.004).
In patients without heart failure, both NT-proBNP and MR-proANP concentrations are independently associated with LA enlargement, whereas MR-proADM concentrations are correlated with LV volumes. This may partially explain the well-recognized value of natriuretic peptides for use in risk stratification.
PMCID: PMC2997388  PMID: 20185624
14.  The influence of corticosteroids on the release of novel biomarkers in human endotoxemia 
Intensive Care Medicine  2007;34(3):518-522.
Sepsis intervention studies need better patient stratification methods, and one way to realize this is the introduction of stable biomarkers. A set of recently developed novel biomarkers, based upon precursor-fragments of short-lived hormones, was previously shown to be increased during sepsis. However, it is not known whether these biomarkers are influenced by sepsis intervention strategies. Therefore we investigated the markers in a model of human endotoxemia intervened by increasing doses of prednisolone.
Design and setting
Prospective, open-label study in a specialized clinical research unit of a university hospital.
Thirty-two healthy male volunteers.
Subjects received prednisolone orally at doses of 0, 3, 10 or 30 mg (n = 8 per group) at 2 h before intravenous injection of Escherichia coli lipopolysaccharide (LPS) (4 ng/kg). Blood samples were drawn during 24 h after LPS injection.
Measurements and results
LPS injection caused an increase in levels of midregional pro-adrenomedullin (MR-proADM), midregional pro-atrial natriuretic peptide (MR-proANP), C-terminal pro-arginine–vasopressin (CT-proAVP) and procalcitonin (PCT). Prednisolone caused a dose dependent inhibition of MR-proADM, MR-proANP and CT-proAVP levels.
These results show that a set of novel, highly stable sepsis biomarkers was increased during human endotoxemia and was dose-dependently inhibited by corticosteroid pre-treatment.
PMCID: PMC2244699  PMID: 18080111
Corticosteroids; Biological markers; Endotoxin; Sepsis
15.  Endothelial Markers May Link Kidney Function to Cardiovascular Events in Type 2 Diabetes 
Diabetes Care  2009;32(10):1890-1895.
The increased cardiovascular risk in diabetes has been linked to endothelial and renal dysfunction. The aim of this study was to investigate the role of stable fragments of the precursors of adrenomedullin, endothelin-1, vasopressin, and atrial natriuretic peptide in progression of cardiovascular disease in patients with diabetes.
This was a prospective, observational study design with a composite end point (death or unexpected admission to hospital due to a cardiovascular event) on 781 patients with type 2 diabetes (54 events, median duration of observation 15 months). The four stable precursor peptides midregional adrenomedullin (MR-proADM), midregional proatrial natriuretic peptide (MR-proANP), COOH-terminal proendothelin-1 (CT-proET-1), and COOH-terminal provasopressin or copeptin (CT-proAVP) were determined at baseline, and their association to renal function and cardiovascular events was studied using stepwise linear and Cox logistic regression analysis and receiver operating characteristic analysis, respectively.
MR-proADM, CT-proET-1, CT-proAVP, and MR-proANP were all elevated in patients with future cardiovascular events and independently correlated to serum creatinine. MR-proADM and MR-proANP were significant predictors of a future cardiovascular event, with MR-proANP being the stronger (area under the curve 0.802 ± 0.034, sensitivity 0.833, specificity 0.576, positive predictive value 0.132, and negative predictive value 0.978 with a cutoff value of 75 pmol/l).
The four serum markers of vasoactive and natriuretic peptides are related to both kidney function and cardiovascular events, thus linking two major complications of diabetes, diabetic nephropathy and cardiovascular disease.
PMCID: PMC2752942  PMID: 19564455
16.  Diagnostic value and prognostic evaluation of Presepsin for sepsis in an emergency department 
Critical Care  2013;17(5):R244.
Presepsin levels are known to be increased in sepsis. The aim of this study was to evaluate the early diagnostic and prognostic value of Presepsin compared with procalcitonin (PCT), Mortality in Emergency Department Sepsis (MEDS) score and Acute Physiology and Chronic Health Evaluation II (APACHE II) score in septic patients in an emergency department (ED) and to investigate Presepsin as a new biomarker of sepsis.
This study enrolled 859 consecutive patients with at least two diagnostic criteria for systemic inflammatory response syndrome (SIRS) who were admitted to Beijing Chao-yang Hospital ED from December 2011 to October 2012, and 100 age-matched healthy controls. Patients were stratified into four groups: SIRS, sepsis, severe sepsis, and septic shock. Plasma Presepsin and serum PCT were measured, and MEDS score and APACHE II score were calculated at enrollment. Comparisons were analyzed using the Kruskal-Wallis and Mann–Whitney U tests.
On admission, the median levels of plasma Presepsin increased with sepsis severity. The areas under the receiver operating characteristic (AUC) curves of Presepsin were greater than those of PCT in diagnosing sepsis, and predicting severe sepsis and septic shock. The AUC of Presepsin for predicting 28-day mortality in septic patients was slightly lower than that of PCT, MEDS score and APACHE II score. The AUC of a combination of Presepsin and MEDS score or APACHE II score was significantly higher than that of MEDS score or APACHE II score alone in predicting severe sepsis, and was markedly higher than that of Presepsin alone in predicting septic shock and 28-day mortality in septic patients, respectively. Plasma Presepsin levels in septic patients were significantly higher in non-survivors than in survivors at 28 days’ follow-up. Presepsin, MEDS score and APACHE II score were found to be independent predictors of severe sepsis, septic shock and 28-day mortality in septic patients. The levels of plasma Presepsin were positively correlated with PCT, MEDS score and APACHE II score in every septic group.
Presepsin is a valuable biomarker for early diagnosis of sepsis, risk stratification, and evaluation of prognosis in septic patients in the ED.
PMCID: PMC4056322  PMID: 24138799
17.  Biomarker Changes During Acute Heart Failure Treatment 
Biomarker changes may provide physicians with objective evidence of treatment efficacy in patients with acute decompensated heart failure (ADHF), and facilitate early hospital discharge. We hypothesize that MR-proADM, CT-pro-ET-1 and MR-proANP change during the first 24 hours of ADHF therapy.
Eligible subjects had an ED diagnosis of ADHF and fulfilled modified Framingham Criteria. Clinical data, serum, and plasma were collected at enrollment, 2–4 hours, and 12–24 hours after treatment. We calculated changes in biomarker concentrations from baseline to 2–4 hours, baseline to 12–24 hours, and 2–4 to 12–24 hours. Fisher’s exact and Kruskal-Wallis tests were used for comparisons.
Forty-eight subjects were included. Median age was 62 years (range 40–88), 54% were male and 50% were white. More subjects had changes in MR-pro-ANP levels in the first 2–4 hours after ADHF therapy compared to MR-proADM or CT-pro-ET-1 (36% vs. 16% and 24%). However, 12–24 hours after therapy similar proportions of patients had changes in MR-proANP, MR-proADM, and CT-proET-1 levels (47%, 41% and 49%).
In this preliminary study patients with ADHF had measurable changes in MR-proANP, MR-proADM and CT-pro-ET-1 24 hours after initial therapy. A study of association with clinical course and outcomes to determine the role of these markers in risk-stratification is warranted.
PMCID: PMC3313068  PMID: 22432555
adrenomedullin; atrial natriuretic peptide; cardiovascular biomarkers; endothelin; acute heart failure; biomarkers
18.  Biomarkers for Sepsis 
BioMed Research International  2014;2014:547818.
Bloodstream infections are a major concern because of high levels of antibiotic consumption and of the increasing prevalence of antimicrobial resistance. Bacteraemia is identified in a small percentage of patients with signs and symptoms of sepsis. Biomarkers are widely used in clinical practice and they are useful for monitoring the infectious process. Procalcitonin (PCT) and C-reactive protein (CRP) have been most widely used, but even these have limited abilities to distinguish sepsis from other inflammatory conditions or to predict outcome. PCT has been used to guide empirical antibacterial therapy in patients with respiratory infections and help to determine if antibacterial therapy can be stopped. New biomarkers such as those in this review will discuss the major types of biomarkers of bloodstream infections/sepsis, including soluble triggering receptor expressed on myeloid cells-1 (sTREM-1), soluble urokinase-type plasminogen receptor (suPAR), proadrenomedullin (ProADM), and presepsin.
PMCID: PMC3985161  PMID: 24800240
19.  The Association of Mid-Regional Pro-Adrenomedullin and Mid-Regional Pro-Atrial Natriuretic Peptide with Mortality in an Incident Dialysis Cohort 
PLoS ONE  2011;6(3):e17803.
High levels of the plasma peptides mid-regional pro-adrenomedullin (MR-proADM) and mid-regional pro-atrial natriuretic peptide (MR-proANP) are associated with clinical outcomes in the general population. Data in patients with chronic kidney disease are sparse. We therefore investigated the association of MR-proANP and MR-proADM levels with all-cause and cardiovascular (CV) mortality, CV events and peripheral arterial disease in 201 incident dialysis patients of the INVOR-Study prospectively followed for a period of up to more than 7 years. The overall mortality rate was 43%, thereof 43% due to CV events. Both baseline MR-proANP and MR-proADM were associated with higher risk of all-cause (HR = 1.44, p = 0.001 and HR = 1.32, p = 0.002, respectively) and CV mortality (HR = 1.75, p<0.001 and HR = 1.41, p = 0.007, respectively) after adjustment for age, sex, previous CV events, diabetes mellitus and time-dependent type of renal replacement therapy. We then stratified patients in high risk (both peptides in the upper tertile), intermediate risk (only one of the two peptides in the upper tertile) and low risk (none in the upper tertile). Although demographic, clinical and laboratory variables were similar among the intermediate and high risk group, to be with both parameters in the upper tertile was associated with a 3-fold higher risk for all-cause (HR = 2.87, p<0.001) and CV mortality (HR = 3.58, p = 0.001). In summary, among incident dialysis patients MR-proANP and MR-proADM were shown to be associated with all-cause and CV mortality, with the highest risk when both parameters were in the upper tertiles.
PMCID: PMC3049793  PMID: 21408188
20.  Diagnostic and prognostic value of procalcitonin among febrile critically ill patients with prolonged ICU stay 
Procalcitonin (PCT) has been proposed as a diagnostic and prognostic sepsis marker, but has never been validated in febrile patients with prolonged ICU stay.
Patients were included in the study provided they were hospitalised in the ICU for > 10 days, were free of infection and presented a new episode of SIRS, with fever >38°C being obligatory. Fifty patients fulfilled the above criteria. PCT was measured daily during the ICU stay. The primary outcome was proven infection.
Twenty-seven out of 50 patients were diagnosed with infection. Median PCT on the day of fever was 1.18 and 0.17 ng/ml for patients with and without proven infections (p < 0.001). The area under the curve for PCT was 0.85 (95% CI; 0.71-0.93), for CRP 0.65 (0.46-0.78) and for WBC 0.68 (0.49-0.81). A PCT level of 1 ng/mL yielded a negative predictive value of 72% for the presence of infection, while a PCT of 1.16 had a specificity of 100%. A two-fold increase of PCT between fever onset and the previous day was associated with proven infection (p 0.001) (OR = 8.55; 2.4-31.1), whereas a four-fold increase of PCT of any of the 6 preceding days was associated with a positive predictive value exceeding 69.65%. A PCT value less than 0.5 ng/ml on the third day after the advent of fever was associated with favorable survival (p 0.01).
The reported data support that serial serum PCT may be a valuable diagnostic and prognostic marker in febrile chronic critically ill patients.
PMCID: PMC2803794  PMID: 20028533
21.  Multinational, observational study of procalcitonin in ICU patients with pneumonia requiring mechanical ventilation: a multicenter observational study 
Critical Care  2011;15(2):R88.
The intent of this study was to determine whether serum procalcitonin (PCT) levels are associated with prognosis, measured as organ dysfunctions and 28-day mortality, in patients with severe pneumonia.
This was a multicenter, observational study of critically ill adult patients with pneumonia requiring mechanical ventilation conducted in 10 academic hospitals in Canada, the United States, and Central Europe. PCT was measured daily for 14 days using an immuno-luminometric assay.
We included 175 patients, 57 with community acquired pneumonia (CAP), 61 with ventilator associated pneumonia (VAP) and 57 with hospital acquired pneumonia (HAP). Initial PCT levels were higher in CAP than VAP patients (median (interquartile range: IQR); 2.4 (0.95 to 15.8) vs. 0.7 (0.3 to 2.15), ng/ml, P < 0.001) but not significantly different to HAP (2.2 (0.4 to 8.0) ng/ml). The 28-day ICU mortality rate for all patients was 18.3% with a median ICU length of stay of 16 days (range 1 to 142 days). PCT levels were higher in non-survivors than in survivors. Initial and maximum PCT levels correlated with maximum Sequential Organ Failure Assessment (SOFA) score r2 = 0.50 (95% CI: 0.38 to 0.61) and r2 = 0.57 (0.46 to 0.66), respectively. Receiver operating curve (ROC) analysis on discrimination of 28-day mortality showed areas under the curve (AUC) of 0.74, 0.70, and 0.69 for maximum PCT, initial PCT, and Acute Physiology and Chronic Health Evaluation (APACHE) II score, respectively. The optimal cut-off to predict mortality for initial PCT was 1.1 ng/ml (odds ratio: OD 7.0 (95% CI 2.6 to 25.2)) and that for maximum PCT was 7.8 ng/ml (odds ratio 5.7 (95% CI 2.5 to 13.1)).
PCT is associated with the severity of illness in patients with severe pneumonia and appears to be a prognostic marker of morbidity and mortality comparable to the APACHE II score.
PMCID: PMC3219347  PMID: 21385367
22.  Procalcitonin and procalcitonin kinetics for diagnosis and prognosis of intravascular catheter-related bloodstream infections in selected critically ill patients: a prospective observational study 
BMC Infectious Diseases  2012;12:247.
Procalcitonin (PCT) has emerged as a valuable marker of sepsis. The potential role of PCT in diagnosis and therapy monitoring of intravascular catheter-related bloodstream infections (CRBSI) in intensive care unit (ICU) is still unclear and was evaluated.
Forty-six patients were included in the study, provided they were free of infection upon admission and presented the first episode of suspected CRBSI during their ICU stay. Patients who had developed any other infection were excluded. PCT was measured daily during the ICU hospitalization. Primary endpoint was proven CRBSI. Therapy monitoring as according to infection control was also evaluated.
Among the 46 patients, 26 were diagnosed with CRBSI. Median PCT on the day of infection suspicion (D0) was 7.70 and 0.10 ng/ml for patients with and without proven CRBSI, respectively (p < 0.001). The area under the curve (AUC) for PCT was 0.990 (95% CI; 0.972 – 1.000), whereas a cut-off value of 0.70 ng/ml provided sensitivity and specificity of 92.3 and 100% respectively. In contrast, the AUC for white blood cells (WBC) was 0.539 (95% CI; 0.369 – 0.709), and for C-reactive protein (CRP), 0.603 (95% CI; 0.438 – 0.768). PCT was the best predictor of proven infection. Moreover, an increase >0.20 ng/ml of PCT between the D0 and any of the 4 preceding days was associated with a positive predictive value exceeding 96%. PCT concentrations from the D2 to D6 after suspected infection tended to decrease in controlled patients, whereas remained stable in non-controlled subjects. A PCT concentration exceeding 1.5 ng/ml during D3 was associated with lack of responsiveness to therapy (p = 0.028).
We suggest that PCT could be a helpful diagnostic and prognostic marker of CRBSI in critically ill patients. Both absolute values and variations should be considered.
PMCID: PMC3502591  PMID: 23043618
23.  Diagnostic and prognostic accuracy of clinical and laboratory parameters in community-acquired pneumonia 
Community-acquired pneumonia (CAP) is the most frequent infection-related cause of death. The reference standard to diagnose CAP is a new infiltrate on chest radiograph in the presence of recently acquired respiratory signs and symptoms. This study aims to evaluate the diagnostic and prognostic accuracy of clinical signs and symptoms and laboratory biomarkers for CAP.
545 patients with suspected lower respiratory tract infection, admitted to the emergency department of a university hospital were included in a pre-planned post-hoc analysis of two controlled intervention trials. Baseline assessment included history, clinical examination, radiography and measurements of procalcitonin (PCT), highly sensitive C-reactive protein (hsCRP) and leukocyte count.
Of the 545 patients, 373 had CAP, 132 other respiratory tract infections, and 40 other final diagnoses. The AUC of a clinical model including standard clinical signs and symptoms (i.e. fever, cough, sputum production, abnormal chest auscultation and dyspnea) to diagnose CAP was 0.79 [95% CI, 0.75–0.83]. This AUC was significantly improved by including PCT and hsCRP (0.92 [0.89–0.94]; p < 0.001). PCT had a higher diagnostic accuracy (AUC, 0.88 [0.84–0.93]) in differentiating CAP from other diagnoses, as compared to hsCRP (AUC, 0.76 [0.69–0.83]; p < 0.001) and total leukocyte count (AUC, 0.69 [0.62–0.77]; p < 0.001). To predict bacteremia, PCT had a higher AUC (0.85 [0.80–0.91]) as compared to hsCRP (p = 0.01), leukocyte count (p = 0.002) and elevated body temperature (p < 0.001). PCT, in contrast to hsCRP and leukocyte count, increased with increasing severity of CAP, as assessed by the pneumonia severity index (p < 0.001).
PCT, and to a lesser degree hsCRP, improve the accuracy of currently recommended approaches for the diagnosis of CAP, thereby complementing clinical signs and symptoms. PCT is useful in the severity assessment of CAP.
PMCID: PMC1821031  PMID: 17335562
24.  Value of Serum Procalcitonin in Evaluating the Prognosis of Sepsis in Elderly Patients with Colorectal Cancer Undergoing Emergency Colorectal Surgery 
The Indian Journal of Surgery  2012;75(2):86-93.
Serum procalcitonin (PCT) levels may have predictive value in the prognosis of postoperative sepsis in elderly patients who have undergone colorectal surgery for colorectal cancer in intensive care units (ICUs). A prospective study involving 90 critically ill patients who underwent colorectal surgery for colorectal cancer in ICUs was performed. Twenty-eight patients were diagnosed with sepsis, in accordance with the American College of Chest Physicians/Society of Critical Care Medicine consensus criteria, and these patients were included in the sepsis group. Sixty-two patients, who were without evidence of sepsis, were enrolled in the control group. We measured the serum PCT concentrations preoperatively (immediately before induction of anesthesia), upon arrival in the ICU (ICU day 0), on the morning of the first postoperative day (postoperative day 1), and on the morning of the third postoperative day (postoperative day 3). The C-reactive protein (CRP) index, acute physiology and chronic health evaluation II (APACHE II) score, mechanical duration of ventilation, mortality rate, incidence of multiple organ failure, and usage of continuous renal replacement therapy were evaluated. The area under the curve for the receiver operating characteristic curve (AUC-ROCC) was measured to explore the association between the serum PCT and the prognosis. In the sepsis group, 12/28 patients died (mortality rate 43 %). In the control group, 6/62 patients died (mortality rate 9.7 %). On the first postoperative day, the serum PCT level was dramatically higher in the sepsis group than in the control group (2.71 ± 1.13 vs. 1.37 ± 0.57, P ≤ 0.05). The PCT level on the first postoperative day was distinctly higher than that measured upon arrival in the ICU (2.71 ± 1.13 vs. 1.31 ± 0.58, P ≤ 0.05). In the two groups, the CRP concentrations were both markedly higher on the first postoperative day than upon arrival in the ICU (138.89 ± 45.12 vs. 70.43 ± 23.54 in the sepsis group, and 133.13 ± 44.91 vs. 69.65 ± 24.98 in the control group, P ≤ 0.05). Linear regression analysis was performed. The results suggest that the PCT and APACHE-II scores were not significantly associated. On the first and third postoperative days, the PCT levels were associated with increased odds of sepsis (AUC-ROCC, 95 % confidence interval 0.817–0.973, P = 0.000, and 0.755–0.944, P = 0.000, respectively). The outcomes of patients in the sepsis group were worse than those in the control group. PCT levels appear to be early markers of postoperative sepsis in elderly patients undergoing colorectal surgery for colorectal cancer during the ICU course. These findings could allow for early identification of postoperative septic complications and be used for prognostic evaluation of these patients.
PMCID: PMC3644167  PMID: 24426400
Elderly patients; Sepsis; Emergency colorectal surgery; Procalcitonin; Prognosis
25.  Procalcitonin reflects bacteremia and bacterial load in urosepsis syndrome: a prospective observational study 
Critical Care  2010;14(6):R206.
Guidelines recommend that two blood cultures be performed in patients with febrile urinary tract infection (UTI), to detect bacteremia and help diagnose urosepsis. The usefulness and cost-effectiveness of this practice have been criticized. This study aimed to evaluate clinical characteristics and the biomarker procalcitonin (PCT) as an aid in predicting bacteremia.
A prospective observational multicenter cohort study included consecutive adults with febrile UTI in 35 primary care units and 8 emergency departments of 7 regional hospitals. Clinical and microbiological data were collected and PCT and time to positivity (TTP) of blood culture were measured.
Of 581 evaluable patients, 136 (23%) had bacteremia. The median age was 66 years (interquartile range 46 to 78 years) and 219 (38%) were male. We evaluated three different models: a clinical model including seven bed-side characteristics, the clinical model plus PCT, and a PCT only model. The diagnostic abilities of these models as reflected by area under the curve of the receiver operating characteristic were 0.71 (95% confidence interval (CI): 0.66 to 0.76), 0.79 (95% CI: 0.75 to 0.83) and 0.73 (95% CI: 0.68 to 0.77) respectively. Calculating corresponding sensitivity and specificity for the presence of bacteremia after each step of adding a significant predictor in the model yielded that the PCT > 0.25 μg/l only model had the best diagnostic performance (sensitivity 0.95; 95% CI: 0.89 to 0.98, specificity 0.50; 95% CI: 0.46 to 0.55). Using PCT as a single decision tool, this would result in 40% fewer blood cultures being taken, while still identifying 94 to 99% of patients with bacteremia.
The TTP of E. coli positive blood cultures was linearly correlated with the PCT log value; the higher the PCT the shorter the TTP (R2 = 0.278, P = 0.007).
PCT accurately predicts the presence of bacteremia and bacterial load in patients with febrile UTI. This may be a helpful biomarker to limit use of blood culture resources.
PMCID: PMC3220019  PMID: 21083886

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