Plasma concentration of Gc-globulin is associated with organ dysfunction and sepsis after injury

Crit Care Med. 2003 Jan;31(1):152-6. doi: 10.1097/00003246-200301000-00024.


Objective: Clinical and experimental studies suggest that the proteins of the extracellular actin scavenger system have a role in the pathophysiological processes taking place in critically ill and injured patients. Circulating levels of Gc-globulin and gelsolin are reduced shortly after severe trauma, and admission levels of Gc-globulin are associated with survival. Herein, we sought to measure the association between admission levels of Gc-globulin and postinjury organ dysfunction and infection. We also wanted to describe the serial changes in Gc-globulin in these severely injured patients.

Design: Prospective cohort.

Setting: Intensive care unit at a county hospital that serves as a level one trauma center.

Patients: Ninety-eight consecutive trauma victims admitted to the intensive care unit for >24 hrs during a 4-month period.

Measurements and main results: Circulating levels of Gc-globulin were measured by using immunonephelometry. All patients were evaluated daily to obtain the necessary data for assessment of organ dysfunction and sepsis. The median Gc-globulin concentration at admission was 127 mg/L in patients who developed severe multiple organ dysfunction compared with 184 mg/L in patients who did not (p =.001). The admission level of Gc-globulin was comparable to known risk factors such as age and injury severity score, regarding development of organ dysfunction. Plasma concentrations of Gc-globulin remained significantly lower in patients who developed respiratory failure and sepsis, compared with patients who did not develop these complications (p =.02 and p=.015, respectively).

Conclusions: Admission plasma concentration of Gc-globulin is lower in patients who develop organ dysfunction and sepsis after traumatic injury. These data, combined with the work of others, support the hypothesis that actin release and depletion of the extracellular actin scavenger system proteins are associated with, and may contribute in part to, the complications of sepsis and organ dysfunction, particularly respiratory failure and thrombocytopenia.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Biomarkers
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Intensive Care Units
  • Logistic Models
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Multiple Organ Failure / blood*
  • Multiple Organ Failure / epidemiology
  • Multiple Organ Failure / etiology
  • Multivariate Analysis
  • Prognosis
  • Prospective Studies
  • Sepsis / blood*
  • Sepsis / epidemiology
  • Sepsis / etiology
  • Statistics, Nonparametric
  • Texas / epidemiology
  • Vitamin D-Binding Protein / blood*
  • Wounds and Injuries / blood*
  • Wounds and Injuries / complications
  • Wounds and Injuries / mortality


  • Biomarkers
  • Vitamin D-Binding Protein