Multiplex cytokine profiling in patients with sepsis

APMIS. 2011 Feb;119(2):155-63. doi: 10.1111/j.1600-0463.2010.02705.x. Epub 2010 Dec 10.


A major goal for the clinical research in sepsis is mapping the various mediators driving the systemic manifestations of infection. Identifying relevant mediators responsible for the physiological alterations during sepsis may offer diagnostic and therapeutic opportunities. We aimed to explore the novel approach of simultaneously measuring several biomolecules using the multiplex technique and to study its relevance in diagnosing and monitoring septic patients. In 30 patients fulfilling American College of Chest Physicians and the Society of Critical Care Medicine sepsis criteria, we simultaneously measured 17 cytokines during the first 7 days after admission. We analysed the results with respect to the presence of septic shock and survival. Five patients died during the study. We found a significant positive correlation between the monocyte chemotactic protein (MCP)-1, macrophage inflammatory protein (MIP)-1β and interleukin (IL)-8 levels in the first 3 days and Sepsis-related Organ Failure Assessment score on day 1. Most cytokines showed no significant difference between patients with mild or severe sepsis. The initial levels of MIP-1β and granulocyte macrophage colony-stimulating factor were lower in patients with septic shock than in patients without shock. IL-8 and MCP-1 early after admission were higher in the non-survivors (p < 0.05). In the multivariate logistical regression, the initial levels of IL-8 were the most predictive for fatal outcome. Moreover, IL-1β, IL-6, IL-8, IL-12, interferon-γ, granulocyte colony-stimulating factor and tumour necrosis factor-α exhibited persistent increases in non-survivors. The simultaneous evaluation of multiple cytokines in sepsis may identify complex cytokine patterns that reflect the systemic response associated with shock and mortality.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Calcitonin / blood
  • Chemokine CCL2 / blood
  • Cytokines / blood*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Interleukin-8 / blood
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Protein Precursors / blood
  • Sepsis / immunology*
  • Sepsis / mortality
  • Severity of Illness Index


  • CCL2 protein, human
  • Chemokine CCL2
  • Cytokines
  • Interleukin-8
  • Protein Precursors
  • Calcitonin