Inflammatory biomarkers predicting prognosis in patients with acute dyspnea

Am J Emerg Med. 2016 Mar;34(3):370-4. doi: 10.1016/j.ajem.2015.10.052. Epub 2015 Nov 10.


Objective/purpose: The objective was to identify inflammatory biomarkers that predict risk of 90-day mortality in patients with acute dyspnea.

Method: We analyzed 25 inflammatory biomarkers, in plasma, in 407 adult patients admitted to the emergency department (ED) with acute dyspnea and related them to risk of 90-day mortality using Cox proportional hazard models adjusted for age, sex, oxygen saturation, respiratory rate, C-reactive protein, and Medical Emergency Triage and Treatment System-Adult score.

Results: Fifty patients (12%) died within 90 day from admission. Two strong and independent biomarker signals were detected: The hazard ratio (95% confidence interval) for 90-day mortality per 1-SD increment of interleukin-8 (IL-8) was 2.20 (1.67-2.90) (P = 2.5 × 10(-8)) and for growth differentiation factor-15 (GDF-15) was 3.45 (2.18-5.45) (P = 1.3 × 10(-7)) A Biomarker Mortality Risk Score (BMRS) summing standardized and weighted values of IL-8 and GDF-15 revealed that of patients belonging to quartile 1 (Q1) of the BMRS, only 1 patient died, whereas 32 patients died among those belonging to quartile 4. Each 1-SD increment of the BMRS was associated with a hazard ratio of 3.79 (2.50-5.73) (P = 2 × 10(-10)) for 90-day mortality, and the point estimate was 13 times higher in Q4 as compared with Q1 of the BMRS (P(trend) over quartiles = 2 × 10(-6)).

Conclusion: Interleukin-8 and GDF-15 are strongly and independently related to risk of 90-day mortality in unselected patients admitted to the ED because of acute dyspnea, suggesting that they may guide first-line physicians at the ED in risk assessment which in turn could lead to more accurate level of care and treatment intensity.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Age Factors
  • Aged
  • Biomarkers / blood*
  • C-Reactive Protein / metabolism
  • Dyspnea / blood*
  • Dyspnea / mortality*
  • Emergency Service, Hospital
  • Female
  • Growth Differentiation Factor 15 / blood
  • Humans
  • Interleukin-8 / blood
  • Male
  • Oxygen / blood
  • Predictive Value of Tests
  • Prognosis
  • Respiratory Rate
  • Risk Factors
  • Sex Factors
  • Sweden
  • Triage


  • Biomarkers
  • Growth Differentiation Factor 15
  • Interleukin-8
  • C-Reactive Protein
  • Oxygen