This study was undertaken to investigate whether sequential measurement of blood interleukin (IL)-6 levels using chemiluminescent enzyme immunoassay (CLEIA) would be useful for the management of patients with systemic inflammatory response syndrome (SIRS)/sepsis. Forty consecutive patients with SIRS/sepsis admitted to ICU were involved in the study. Blood IL-6 level was measured everyday throughout their ICU stay at the clinical laboratory by CLEIA method. The platelet count and the sequential organ failure assessment (SOFA) score were measured consecutively. The blood IL-6 levels were elevated in SIRS/sepsis patients and were extremely high in patients with septic shock. There was no significant difference in the blood IL-6 level on admission between survivors (n=27) and non-survivors (n=13). However, the mean blood IL-6 level during ICU stay was significantly higher in the non-survivors (p<0.05). There were significant correlation between the peak IL-6 blood level and the lowest platelet count, and between the peak IL-6 blood level and the maximum SOFA score, respectively. The platelet count became lowest 2.0+/-2.0 days later on average, and the SOFA score became maximal 2.5+/-1.4 days later on average following the day when IL-6 reached its peak value. Sequential measurement of blood IL-6 levels by CLEIA is useful in evaluating the severity and in predicting the outcome of the patients with SIRS/sepsis.