Sepsis is the most frequent cause of admission to intensive care units (ICUs), and the most common cause of death in ICUs . Since sepsis is associated with non-specific symptoms it is difficult to diagnose . A rapid and correct diagnosis and initiation of therapy is therefore very important for improving patient outcomes, as any delay in treatment will increase mortality .
Biomarkers have an important role in both the detection of sepsis and the estimation of the severity of the disease. A widely used biomarker is C-reactive protein (CRP), but since CRP is mainly an inflammation marker, the specificity in sepsis has been challenged . Procalcitonin (PCT) is together with CRP the most widely used sepsis biomarker today. PCT has been proposed as a more specific  and better prognostic  marker than CRP, but this has also been questioned .
Calprotectin and PETIA
Determination of serum calprotectin has been proposed as a valuable biomarker for diagnosis of sepsis [8-11]. Early release of calprotectin from activated neutrophils along with short test turn-around-times with a PETIA assay suggest that calprotectin can become a useful sepsis biomarker.
PETIA is a technology that can be applied on routine chemistry analysers available at most clinical chemistry laboratories. In comparison with enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA), PETIA is designed for measuring single samples, and thus, significantly shortens the time from test to results. This is especially important here, as sepsis is an acute condition that requires rapid test results.
The levels of plasma calprotectin were significantly higher in patients with sepsis when compared with patients with trauma and other non-septic conditions. The calprotectin concentrations at admission were also higher in non-survivors than in survivors at day 30. Levels of PCT in plasma did not differ significantly between septic and non-septic patients nor in survivors compared with non-survivors.
In our study, calprotectin was superior to PCT for distinguishing between ICU patients with sepsis and non-sepsis. Calprotectin had also higher predictive ability regarding 30-day mortality.
Are you interested to learn more about calprotectin in the clinical setting and also to learn more about Gentian's plasma calprotectin assay? Get in touch with our Product Manager for Calprotectin through email@example.com.
Anders Larsson, Department of Medical Sciences, Clinical Chemistry, University Hospital, Uppsala, Sweden
Jonas Tydén, Department of Surgical and Perioperative Sciences, Anaesthesiology and Critical Care Medicine (Ostersund), Umeå University, Umeå, Sweden
Joakim Johansson, Department of Surgical and Perioperative Sciences, Anaesthesiology and Critical Care Medicine (Ostersund), Umeå University, Umeå, Sweden
Miklos Lipcsey, Department of Surgical Sciences, Anaesthesiology and Intensive care, Hedenstierna laboratory, Uppsala University, Uppsala, Sweden;
Maria Bergquist, Department of Surgical Sciences, Anaesthesiology and Intensive care, Hedenstierna laboratory, Uppsala University, Uppsala, Sweden;
Kim Kultima, Department of Molecular Medicine and Surgery, Karolinska Institutet, Karolinska University Hospital, Stockholm, Sweden
Aleksandra Mandic-Havelka, Gentian Diagnostics AB and Department of Molecular Medicine and Surgery, Karolinska Institutet, Karolinska University Hospital, Stockholm, Sweden
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* The authors have no financial conflicts of interest