Angiotensin II plasma levels are linked to disease severity and predict fatal outcomes in H7N9-infected patients

Nat Commun. 2014 May 6;5:3595. doi: 10.1038/ncomms4595.


A novel influenza A (H7N9) virus of avian origin emerged in eastern China in the spring of 2013. This virus causes severe disease in humans, including acute and often lethal respiratory failure. As of January 2014, 275 cases of H7N9-infected patients had been reported, highlighting the urgency of identifying biomarkers for predicting disease severity and fatal outcomes. Here, we show that plasma levels of angiotensin II, a major regulatory peptide of the renin-angiotensin system, are markedly elevated in H7N9 patients and are associated with disease progression. Moreover, the sustained high levels of angiotensin II in these patients are strongly correlated with mortality. The predictive value of angiotensin II is higher than that of C-reactive protein and some clinical parameters such as the PaO2/FiO2 ratio (partial pressure of arterial oxygen to the fraction of inspired oxygen). Our findings indicate that angiotensin II is a biomarker for lethality in flu infections.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Angiotensin II / blood*
  • Biomarkers / blood*
  • C-Reactive Protein / metabolism
  • Disease Progression
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Influenza A Virus, H7N9 Subtype / pathogenicity*
  • Influenza, Human / blood*
  • Influenza, Human / mortality*
  • Influenza, Human / virology
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Prognosis
  • Viral Load


  • Biomarkers
  • Angiotensin II
  • C-Reactive Protein