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Open Access Highly Accessed Research article

Value of soluble TREM-1, procalcitonin, and C-reactive protein serum levels as biomarkers for detecting bacteremia among sepsis patients with new fever in intensive care units: a prospective cohort study

Longxiang Su1234, Bingchao Han13, Changting Liu4, Liling Liang3, Zhaoxu Jiang123, Jie Deng13, Peng Yan1, Yanhong Jia3, Dan Feng5 and Lixin Xie13*

  • * Corresponding author: Lixin Xie xielx@263.net

  • † Equal contributors

Author Affiliations

1 Department of Respiratory Medicine, Hainan Branch of Chinese PLA General Hospital, Sanya, Hainan Province, 572013, China

2 Medical College, Nankai University, 94 Weijin Rd, Tianjin, 300071, China

3 Department of Respiratory Diseases, Chinese PLA General Hospital, Beijing, 100853, China

4 Department of Respiratory Diseases of South-building, Chinese PLA General Hospital, 28 Fuxing Rd, Beijing, 100853, China

5 Department of Medical Statistics, Chinese PLA General Hospital, 28 Fuxing Rd, Beijing, 100853, China

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BMC Infectious Diseases 2012, 12:157  doi:10.1186/1471-2334-12-157

Published: 18 July 2012

Abstract

Background

The purpose of this study was to explore the diagnostic value of soluble triggering receptor expressed on myeloid cells 1 (sTREM-1), procalcitonin (PCT), and C-reactive protein (CRP) serum levels for differentiating sepsis from SIRS, identifying new fever caused by bacteremia, and assessing prognosis when new fever occurred.

Methods

We enrolled 144 intensive care unit (ICU) patients: 60 with systemic inflammatory response syndrome (SIRS) and 84 with sepsis complicated by new fever at more than 48 h after ICU admission. Serum sTREM-1, PCT, and CRP levels were measured on the day of admission and at the occurrence of new fever (>38.3°C) during hospitalization. Based on the blood culture results, the patients were divided into a blood culture-positive bacteremia group (33 patients) and blood culture-negative group (51 patients). Based on 28-day survival, all patients, both blood culture-positive and -negative, were further divided into survivor and nonsurvivor groups.

Results

On ICU day 1, the sepsis group had higher serum sTREM-1, PCT, and CRP levels compared with the SIRS group (P <0.05). The areas under the curve (AUC) for these indicators were 0.868 (95% CI, 0.798–0.938), 0.729 (95% CI, 0.637–0.821), and 0.679 (95% CI, 0.578–0.771), respectively. With 108.9 pg/ml as the cut-off point for serum sTREM-1, sensitivity was 0.83 and specificity was 0.81. There was no statistically significant difference in serum sTREM-1 or PCT levels between the blood culture-positive and -negative bacteremia groups with ICU-acquired new fever. However, the nonsurvivors in the blood culture-positive bacteremia group had higher levels of serum sTREM-1 and PCT (P <0.05), with a prognostic AUC for serum sTREM-1 of 0.868 (95% CI, 0.740–0.997).

Conclusions

Serum sTREM-1, PCT, and CRP levels each have a role in the early diagnosis of sepsis. Serum sTREM-1, with the highest sensitivity and specificity of all indicators studied, is especially notable. sTREM-1, PCT, and CRP levels are of no use in determining new fever caused by bacteremia in ICU patients, but sTREM-1 levels reflect the prognosis of bacteremia.

Trial registration

ClinicalTrial.gov identifier NCT01410578

Keywords:
Soluble triggering receptor expressed on myeloid cells 1 (sTREM-1); Fever; Sepsis; Bacteremia; Diagnosis; Prognosis