Objectives: Secretoneurin is produced in neuroendocrine cells, and the myocardium and circulating secretoneurin levels provide incremental prognostic information to established risk indices in cardiovascular disease. As myocardial dysfunction contributes to poor outcome in critically ill patients, we wanted to assess the prognostic value of secretoneurin in two cohorts of critically ill patients with infections.
Design: Two prospective, observational studies.
Setting: Twenty-four and twenty-five ICUs in Finland.
Patients: A total of 232 patients with severe sepsis (cohort #1) and 94 patients with infections and respiratory failure (cohort #2).
Measurements and main results: We measured secretoneurin levels by radioimmunoassay in samples obtained early after ICU admission and compared secretoneurin with other risk indices. In patients with severe sepsis, admission secretoneurin levels (logarithmically transformed) were associated with hospital mortality (odds ratio, 3.17 [95% CI, 1.12-9.00]; p = 0.030) and shock during the hospitalization (odds ratio, 2.17 [1.06-4.46]; p = 0.034) in analyses that adjusted for other risk factors available on ICU admission. Adding secretoneurin levels to age, which was also associated with hospital mortality in the multivariate model, improved the risk prediction as assessed by the category-free net reclassification index: 0.35 (95% CI, 0.06-0.64) (p = 0.02). In contrast, N-terminal pro-B-type natriuretic peptide levels were not associated with mortality in the multivariate model that included secretoneurin measurements, and N-terminal pro-B-type natriuretic peptide did not improve patient classification on top of age. Secretoneurin levels were also associated with hospital mortality after adjusting for other risk factors and improved patient classification in cohort #2. In both cohorts, the optimal cutoff for secretoneurin levels at ICU admission to predict hospital mortality was ≈ 175 pmol/L, and higher levels were associated with mortality also when adjusting for Simplified Acute Physiology Score II and Sequential Organ Failure Assessment scores.
Conclusions: Secretoneurin levels provide incremental information to established risk indices for the prediction of mortality and shock in critically ill patients with severe infections.