Plasma level of a triggering receptor expressed on myeloid cells-1: its diagnostic accuracy in patients with suspected sepsis

Ann Intern Med. 2004 Jul 6;141(1):9-15. doi: 10.7326/0003-4819-141-1-200407060-00009.


Background: Previous experimental studies have suggested that the triggering receptor expressed on myeloid cells-1 (TREM-1) is specifically upregulated in the presence of microbial products.

Objective: To evaluate the diagnostic value of plasma levels of the soluble form of TREM-1 in patients admitted with clinical suspicion of infection.

Design: Prospective, noninterventional study conducted between July and September 2003.

Setting: Medical adult intensive care unit at a university hospital in France.

Participants: 76 consecutive newly admitted patients who presented with clinically suspected infection and fulfilled at least 2 criteria of the systemic inflammatory response syndrome.

Measurements: Sensitivity and specificity of plasma soluble TREM-1 levels at admission for the diagnosis of infection. Two independent intensivists blinded to the results of soluble TREM-1 assays retrospectively classified patients as having the systemic inflammatory response syndrome, sepsis, severe sepsis, or septic shock.

Results: The systemic inflammatory response syndrome was diagnosed in 29 patients (38%), and sepsis, severe sepsis, or septic shock was diagnosed in the remaining 47 (62%). A plasma soluble TREM-1 level higher than 60 ng/mL was more accurate than any other clinical or laboratory finding for indicating infection (sensitivity, 96% [95% CI, 92% to 100%]; specificity, 89% [CI, 82% to 95%]; positive likelihood ratio, 8.6 [CI, 3.8 to 21.5]; negative likelihood ratio, 0.04 [CI, 0.01 to 0.2]).

Limitations: The study did not enroll patients with mild infections not requiring intensive care unit hospitalization, patients older than 80 years of age, or patients who were immunocompromised.

Conclusion: In newly admitted critically ill patients, measurement of plasma levels of soluble TREM-1 could help to rapidly identify those with infection.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Blotting, Western
  • C-Reactive Protein / analysis
  • Calcitonin / blood
  • Critical Illness
  • Diagnosis, Differential
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Inflammation / diagnosis
  • Male
  • Membrane Glycoproteins / blood*
  • Middle Aged
  • Predictive Value of Tests
  • Prognosis
  • Prospective Studies
  • Protein Precursors / blood
  • Receptors, Immunologic / blood*
  • Sepsis / diagnosis*
  • Triggering Receptor Expressed on Myeloid Cells-1


  • Membrane Glycoproteins
  • Protein Precursors
  • Receptors, Immunologic
  • TREM1 protein, human
  • Triggering Receptor Expressed on Myeloid Cells-1
  • Calcitonin
  • C-Reactive Protein