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.