Iron-related markers are associated with infection after liver transplantation

Liver Transpl. 2017 Dec;23(12):1541-1552. doi: 10.1002/lt.24817.

Abstract

Though serum iron has been known to be associated with an increased risk of infection, hepcidin, the major regulator of iron metabolism, has never been systematically explored in this setting. Finding early biomarkers of infection, such as hepcidin, could help identify patients in whom early empiric antimicrobial therapy would be beneficial. We prospectively enrolled consecutive patients (n = 128) undergoing first-time, single-organ orthotopic liver transplantation (OLT) without known iron overload disorders at 2 academic hospitals in Boston from August 2009 to November 2012. Cox regression compared the associations between different iron markers and the development of first infection at least 1 week after OLT; 47 (37%) patients developed a primary outcome of infection at least 1 week after OLT and 1 patient died. After adjusting for perioperative bleeding complications, number of hospital days, and hepatic artery thrombosis, changes in iron markers were associated with the development of infection post-OLT including increasing ferritin (hazard ratio [HR], 1.51; 95% confidence interval [CI], 1.12-2.05), rising ferritin slope (HR, 1.10; 95% CI, 1.03-1.17), and increasing hepcidin (HR, 1.43; 95% CI, 1.05-1.93). A decreasing iron (HR, 1.76; 95% CI, 1.20-2.57) and a decreasing iron slope (HR, 4.21; 95% CI, 2.51-7.06) were also associated with subsequent infections. In conclusion, hepcidin and other serum iron markers and their slope patterns or their combination are associated with infection in vulnerable patient populations. Liver Transplantation 23 1541-1552 2017 AASLD.

Publication types

  • Multicenter Study
  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Biomarkers / blood
  • Boston / epidemiology
  • Communicable Diseases / blood*
  • Communicable Diseases / epidemiology
  • Communicable Diseases / immunology
  • Communicable Diseases / microbiology
  • End Stage Liver Disease / surgery*
  • Female
  • Ferritins / blood
  • Hepcidins / blood
  • Host-Pathogen Interactions / immunology
  • Humans
  • Immunocompromised Host
  • Iron / blood*
  • Iron / metabolism
  • Liver Transplantation / adverse effects*
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Postoperative Complications / blood*
  • Postoperative Complications / epidemiology
  • Postoperative Complications / immunology
  • Postoperative Complications / microbiology
  • Prospective Studies
  • Reoperation / statistics & numerical data
  • Risk Assessment / methods
  • Treatment Outcome

Substances

  • Biomarkers
  • Hepcidins
  • Ferritins
  • Iron