Introduction: Pro-adrenomedullin (proADM) is helpful for individual risk assessment and outcome prediction in sepsis. A major cause of sepsis is community-acquired pneumonia (CAP). The aim of this study was to investigate the value of proADM levels for severity assessment and outcome prediction in CAP.
Methods: Data from 302 patients admitted to the emergency department with CAP were included in a prospective observational study. Procalcitonin, C-reactive protein levels, leukocyte count, clinical variables and the pneumonia severity index (PSI) were measured. ProADM levels were measured with a new sandwich immunoassay for mid regional ProADM (MR-proADM, Brahms AG, Hennigsdorf/Berlin, Germany).
Results: ProADM levels, in contrast to C-reactive protein and leukocyte count, increased with increasing severity of CAP, classified according to the PSI score (ANOVA, p < 0.001). In patients who died during follow-up, proADM levels on admission were significantly higher compared to levels in survivors (2.1 (1.5 to 3.0) versus 1.0 (0.6 to 1.6) nmol/l, p < 0.001). In a receiver operating characteristic (ROC) analysis for survival, the area under the ROC curve (AUC) for proADM was 0.76 (95% confidence interval (CI) 0.71-0.81), which was significantly higher compared to procalcitonin (p = 0.004), C-reactive protein (p < 0.001) and total leukocyte count (p = 0.001) and similar to the AUC of the PSI (0.73, p = 0.54). A clinical model including the PSI and proADM increased the prognostic accuracy to predict failure compared to a model relying on the PSI alone (AUC, 0.77 (0.70 to 0.84), p = 0.03).
Conclusion: ProADM, as a novel biomarker, is a useful tool for the risk stratification of patients with CAP.