Inflammatory markers in patients with severe burn injury. What is the best indicator of sepsis?

Athina Lavrentieva, Theodore Kontakiotis, Lambis Lazaridis, Nikolaos Tsotsolis, John Koumis, George Kyriazis, Militsa Bitzani
Burns 2007, 33 (2): 189-94

OBJECTIVE: To estimate the diagnostic value of serum PCT, CRP, leukocyte count and temperature as markers of sepsis in critically ill ICU burn patients.

DESIGN AND SETTING: Prospective, observational study in a four bed Burn Intensive Care Unit.

PATIENTS: Forty-three patients admitted in a Burn ICU were included in our study.

MEASUREMENTS AND RESULTS: Serum PCT, CRP concentrations, WCC (white cell count), neutrophils and temperature were measured within the first 24h after-burn and daily thereafter. Severity of organ failure was estimated by sequential organ failure assessment (SOFA) score. Every day we classified all patients in one of the following three categories: non-systemic inflammatory condition (non-SIRS), SIRS non-infected and SIRS 2 infected or sepsis. Patients with infected SIRS differ significantly from non-infected SIRS in PCT (11.8+/-15.8 versus 0.63+/-0.0.43, respectively, p < 0.001). On the other hand, WCC, temperature and neutrophils did not differ significantly between patients with SIRS non-infected and infected SIRS. CRP was elevated in all three groups but didn't differ significantly between SIRS non-infected and septic patients. Area under receiver operating curves was 0.975 and showed reasonable discriminative power (p = 0.002, 95% CI, 0.91-1.035) in predicting of sepsis only for PCT.

CONCLUSIONS: Serum procalcitonin levels can be used as an early indicator of septic complication in patients with severe burn injury.


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