Introduction: Additional biomarkers in sepsis are needed to tackle the challenges of determining prognosis and optimizing selection of high-risk patients for application of therapy. In the present study, conducted in a cohort of medical intensive care unit patients, our aim was to compare the prognostic value of mid-regional pro-atrial natriuretic peptide (ANP) levels with those of other biomarkers and physiological scores.
Methods: Blood samples obtained in a prospective observational study conducted in 101 consecutive critically ill patients admitted to the intensive care unit were analyzed. The prognostic value of pro-ANP levels was compared with that of the Acute Physiology and Chronic Health Evaluation (APACHE) II score and with those of various biomarkers (i.e. C-reactive protein, IL-6 and procalcitonin). Mid-regional pro-ANP was detected in EDTA plasma from all patients using a new sandwich immunoassay.
Results: On admission, 53 patients had sepsis, severe sepsis, or septic shock, and 68 had systemic inflammatory response syndrome. The median pro-ANP value in the survivors was 194 pmol/l (range 20-2000 pmol/l), which was significantly lower than in the nonsurvivors (median 853.0 pmol/l, range 100-2000 pmol/l; P < 0.001). On the day of admission, pro-ANP levels, but not levels of other biomarkers, were significantly higher in non-surviving [corrected] than in surviving [corrected] sepsis patients (P = 0.001). In a receiver operating characteristic curve analysis for the survival of patients with sepsis, the area under the curve (AUC) for pro-ANP was 0.88, which was significantly greater than the AUCs for procalcitonin and C-reactive protein, and similar to the AUC for the APACHE II score.
Conclusion: Pro-ANP appears to be a valuable tool for individual risk assessment in sepsis patients and for stratification of high-risk patients in future intervention trials. Further studies are needed to validate our results.