Pentraxin 3 in the assessment of ventilator-associated pneumonia: an early marker of severity

Heart Lung. 2013 Mar-Apr;42(2):139-45. doi: 10.1016/j.hrtlng.2012.11.005. Epub 2012 Dec 27.


Objectives: The aim was to assess the diagnostic and prognostic value of measuring pentraxin 3 (PTX3) together with C-reactive protein (CRP) in patients with ventilator-associated pneumonia (VAP).

Background: The PTX3 values increase rapidly during multiple inflammatory conditions, but little is known about its characteristics in VAP.

Methods: Measurement of PTX3 and CRP levels in plasma from 136 consecutive patients receiving mechanical ventilation > 48 h in a prospective single center study.

Results: A PTX3 threshold of >16.43 ng/ml provided a specificity of 74.0% and a sensitivity of 68.6% for the diagnosis of VAP. PTX3 correlated with severity of sepsis and peaked earlier than CRP in patients with confirmed VAP. Multivariate Cox regression analysis showed PTX3 was the independent predictor for mortality of VAP.

Conclusions: PTX3 was not superior to CRP as a biomarker to diagnose VAP, but it was an early indicator of inflammation and had better prognostic value to predict mortality than CRP.

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Biomarkers
  • C-Reactive Protein* / analysis
  • C-Reactive Protein* / metabolism
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Inflammation / metabolism
  • Lung / metabolism
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Pneumonia, Ventilator-Associated* / blood
  • Pneumonia, Ventilator-Associated* / complications
  • Pneumonia, Ventilator-Associated* / diagnosis
  • Pneumonia, Ventilator-Associated* / mortality
  • Pneumonia, Ventilator-Associated* / physiopathology
  • Predictive Value of Tests
  • Prognosis
  • Proportional Hazards Models
  • Prospective Studies
  • Reproducibility of Results
  • Sepsis / blood
  • Sepsis / diagnosis*
  • Sepsis / etiology
  • Serum Amyloid P-Component* / analysis
  • Serum Amyloid P-Component* / metabolism
  • Severity of Illness Index
  • Time Factors


  • Biomarkers
  • Serum Amyloid P-Component
  • PTX3 protein
  • C-Reactive Protein