Lipidomic changes in a novel sepsis outcome-based analysis reveals potent pro-inflammatory and pro-resolving signaling lipids

Clin Transl Sci. 2024 Mar;17(3):e13745. doi: 10.1111/cts.13745.


The purpose of this study was to investigate changes in the lipidome of patients with sepsis to identify signaling lipids associated with poor outcomes that could be linked to future therapies. Adult patients with sepsis were enrolled within 24h of sepsis recognition. Patients meeting Sepsis-3 criteria were enrolled from the emergency department or intensive care unit and blood samples were obtained. Clinical data were collected and outcomes of rapid recovery, chronic critical illness (CCI), or early death were adjudicated by clinicians. Lipidomic analysis was performed on two platforms, the Sciex™ 5500 device to perform a lipidomic screen of 1450 lipid species and a targeted signaling lipid panel using liquid-chromatography tandem mass spectrometry. For the lipidomic screen, there were 274 patients with sepsis: 192 with rapid recovery, 47 with CCI, and 35 with early deaths. CCI and early death patients were grouped together for analysis. Fatty acid (FA) 12:0 was decreased in CCI/early death, whereas FA 17:0 and 20:1 were elevated in CCI/early death, compared to rapid recovery patients. For the signaling lipid panel analysis, there were 262 patients with sepsis: 189 with rapid recovery, 45 with CCI, and 28 with early death. Pro-inflammatory signaling lipids from ω-6 poly-unsaturated fatty acids (PUFAs), including 15-hydroxyeicosatetraenoic (HETE), 12-HETE, and 11-HETE (oxidation products of arachidonic acid [AA]) were elevated in CCI/early death patients compared to rapid recovery. The pro-resolving lipid mediator from ω-3 PUFAs, 14(S)-hydroxy docosahexaenoic acid (14S-HDHA), was also elevated in CCI/early death compared to rapid recovery. Signaling lipids of the AA pathway were elevated in poor-outcome patients with sepsis and may serve as targets for future therapies.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Fatty Acids
  • Fatty Acids, Omega-3*
  • Humans
  • Lipidomics
  • Mass Spectrometry
  • Sepsis*


  • Fatty Acids, Omega-3
  • Fatty Acids