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1.  Ischemic biomarker heart-type fatty acid binding protein (hFABP) in acute heart failure - diagnostic and prognostic insights compared to NT-proBNP and troponin I 
To evaluate diagnostic and long-term prognostic values of hFABP compared to NT-proBNP and troponin I (TnI) in patients presenting to the emergency department (ED) suspected of acute heart failure (AHF).
401 patients with acute dyspnea or peripheral edema, 122 suffering from AHF, were prospectively enrolled and followed up to 5 years. hFABP combined with NT-proBNP versus NT-proBNP alone was tested for AHF diagnosis. Prognostic value of hFABP versus TnI was evaluated in models predicting all-cause mortality (ACM) and AHF related rehospitalization (AHF-RH) at 1 and 5 years, including 11 conventional risk factors plus NT-proBNP.
Additional hFABP measurements improved diagnostic specificity and positive predictive value (PPV) of sole NT-proBNP testing at the cutoff <300 ng/l to “rule out” AHF. Highest hFABP levels (4th quartile) were associated with increased ACM (hazard ratios (HR): 2.1–2.5; p = 0.04) and AHF-RH risk at 5 years (HR 2.8–8.3, p = 0.001). ACM was better characterized in prognostic models including TnI, whereas AHF-RH was better characterized in prognostic models including hFABP. Cox analyses revealed a 2 % increase of ACM risk and 3–7 % increase of AHF-RH risk at 5 years by each unit increase of hFABP of 10 ng/ml.
Combining hFABP plus NT-proBNP (<300 ng/l) only improves diagnostic specificity and PPV to rule out AHF. hFABP may improve prognosis for long-term AHF-RH, whereas TnI may improve prognosis for ACM.
Trial registration identifier: NCT00143793.
PMCID: PMC4488120  PMID: 26072112
Acute heart failure; hFABP; Mortality; NT-proBNP; Prognosis; Rehospitalisation; Troponin I
2.  Diagnostic and prognostic utility of soluble CD 14 subtype (presepsin) for severe sepsis and septic shock during the first week of intensive care treatment 
Critical Care  2014;18(5):507.
The aim of this study was to evaluate the diagnostic and prognostic value of presepsin in patients with severe sepsis and septic shock during the first week of ICU treatment.
In total, 116 patients with suspected severe sepsis or septic shock were included during the first 24 hours of ICU treatment. Blood samples for biomarker measurements of presepsin, procalcitonin (PCT), interleukin 6 (IL-6), C reactive protein (CRP) and white blood cells (WBC) were drawn at days 1, 3 and 8. All patients were followed up for six months. Biomarkers were tested for diagnosis of sepsis, severe sepsis, septic shock and for prognosis of 30-days and 6-months all-cause mortality at days 1, 3 and 8. Diagnostic and prognostic utilities were tested by determining diagnostic cutoff levels, goodness criteria, C-statistics and multivariable Cox regression models.
Presepsin increased significantly from the lowest to most severe sepsis groups at days 1, 3 and 8 (test for linear trend P <0.03). Presepsin levels revealed valuable diagnostic capacity to diagnose severe sepsis and septic shock at days 1, 3 and 8 (range of diagnostic area under the curves (AUC) 0.72 to 0.84, P = 0.0001) compared to IL-6, PCT, CRP and WBC. Goodness criteria for diagnosis of sepsis severity were analyzed (≥sepsis, cutoff = 530 pg/ml; ≥severe sepsis, cutoff = 600 pg/ml; ≥septic shock, cutoff = 700 pg/ml; P <0.03). Presepsin levels revealed significant prognostic value for 30 days and 6 months all-cause mortality (presepsin: range of AUC 0.64 to 0.71, P <0.02). Patients with presepsin levels of the 4th quartile were 5 to 7 times more likely to die after six months than patients with lower levels. The prognostic value for all-cause mortality of presepsin was comparable to that of IL-6 and better than that of PCT, CRP or WBC.
In patients with suspected severe sepsis and septic shock, precipices reveals valuable diagnostic capacity to differentiate sepsis severity compared to PCT, IL-6, CRP, WBC. Additionally, presepsin and IL-6 reveal prognostic value with respect to 30 days and 6 months all-cause mortality throughout the first week of ICU treatment.
Trial registration NCT01535534. Registered 14 February 2012.
PMCID: PMC4174283  PMID: 25190134
3.  TIMP-1 gene polymorphism: are genetics able to predict outcome of septic patients? 
Critical Care  2013;17(4):170.
The multicenter study conducted by Lorente and coworkers - published in the previous issue of Critical Care - suggests that levels of tissue inhibitor of metalloproteinase (TIMP)-1 in association with the 372 T/C genetic polymorphism of TIMP-1 are promising markers to predict the clinical outcome of septic patients. TIMPs bind to active matrix metalloproteinases and, amongst other effects, inhibit their proteolytic activity of the extracellular matrix. Previous clinical studies showed increased plasma levels of TIMP-1 in nonsurvivors of sepsis, and showed associations between the 372 T/C genetic polymorphism of TIMP-1 and increased risk of developing certain diseases. In recent years, there has been great interest in understanding whether genetic determinants of the host response to systemic infections are associated with poor outcome. Furthermore, the pharmacogenomics of sepsis may allow us to target immune-modulating therapies. Measurement of TIMP-1 protein levels and TIMP-1 polymorphism 372 T/C in the intensive care setting could therefore be an attractive noninvasive tool to determine the outcome of septic patients, and might help to select patients potentially benefitting from a target-specific immune-modulatory therapy directed to matrix metalloproteinase/TIMP homeostasis.
PMCID: PMC4056612  PMID: 23890414
4.  Alterations of leptin in the course of inflammation and severe sepsis 
BMC Infectious Diseases  2012;12:217.
The adipokine leptin regulates energy expenditure, vascular function, bone and cartilage growth as well as the immune system and systemic inflammatory response. Several activating effects towards T cells, monocytes, endothelium cells and cytokine production have been reported suggesting a protective role of leptin in the setting of an acute systemic inflammation. However, the pathophysiological role of leptin during severe sepsis is currently not elucidated in detail. This study aims to investigate leptin expression in cultured human adipocytes within an inflammatory model and in patients suffering from severe sepsis and evaluates treatment effects of drotrecogin alpha (activated) (DAA), the recombinant form of human activated protein C.
In an in-vitro inflammatory model of adipocyte cell-culture the effect of DAA on leptin mRNA expression was evaluated. Synthesis of mRNA was measured by quantitative polymerase chain reaction (qPCR). Additionally, supernatants of these adipocytes as well as serum levels of adiponectin were measured in blood of 104 severe septic patients by ELISA-method. 26 patients were treated with DAA (DAA+), 78 patients were not treated with DAA (DAA-).
Stimulation of human adipocytes with TNF alpha over 6 and 24 hours resulted in a significant decrease by 46% and 59% of leptin mRNA transcripts compared to un-stimulated controls (p < 0.05). Leptin levels of supernatants of adipocyte culture decreased by 25% and 23% (p < 0.05) after incubation with TNF alpha after 6 and 24 hours. Incubation with DAA at 50 ng/ml DAA and 5 μg/ml doubled mRNA expression significantly at 24 hours (p < 0.05) but not at 6 hours. From day 1 to day 3 of sepsis, leptin levels increased in DAA+ compared to DAA- patients (p<0.10).
Leptin appears to be involved in the pathogenesis of a systemic inflammatory response during sepsis. Administration of DAA significantly increased leptin expression. The specific mechanism or even benefit of DAA towards leptin needs further ongoing research.
PMCID: PMC3462137  PMID: 22973876
Adipocytes; Drotrecogin alpha (activated); Leptin; mRNA; Sepsis; Supernatants

Results 1-4 (4)