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Open Access Highly Accessed Research

Pancreatic stone protein as an early biomarker predicting mortality in a prospective cohort of patients with sepsis requiring ICU management

Yok-Ai Que1, Frederik Delodder1, Idris Guessous23, Rolf Graf4, Martha Bain4, Thierry Calandra5, Lucas Liaudet1 and Philippe Eggimann1*

Author Affiliations

1 Department of Intensive Care Medicine, University Hospital Medical Center (CHUV) and University of Lausanne, Rue du Bugnon 46, CH-1011 Lausanne, Switzerland

2 Community Prevention Unit, Institute of Social and Preventive Medicine, University Hospital Medical Center (CHUV) and University of Lausanne, Route de la Corniche 10, CH-1010, Switzerland

3 Unit of Population Epidemiology, Division of Primary Care Medicine, Department of Community Medicine, Primary Care, and Emergency Medicine, Geneva University Hospitals, Geneva, Rue Gabrielle-Perret-Gentil 4, CH-1211, Geneva 14, Switzerland

4 Swiss Hepato-Pancreatico-Biliary Center, Department of Visceral and Transplant Surgery, University Hospital, Raemistrasse 100, CH-8091 Zürich, Switzerland

5 Infectious Diseases Service, University Hospital Medical Center (CHUV) and University of Lausanne, Rue du Bugnon 46, CH-1011 Lausanne, Switzerland

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Critical Care 2012, 16:R114  doi:10.1186/cc11406

See related commentary by Busani and Girardis,

Published: 2 July 2012



Biomarkers, such as C-reactive protein [CRP] and procalcitonin [PCT], are insufficiently sensitive or specific to stratify patients with sepsis. We investigate the prognostic value of pancreatic stone protein/regenerating protein (PSP/reg) concentration in patients with severe infections.


PSP/reg, CRP, PCT, tumor necrosis factor-alpha (TNF-α), interleukin 1 beta (IL1-β), IL-6 and IL-8 were prospectively measured in cohort of patients ≥ 18 years of age with severe sepsis or septic shock within 24 hours of admission in a medico-surgical intensive care unit (ICU) of a community and referral university hospital, and the ability to predict in-hospital mortality was determined.


We evaluated 107 patients, 33 with severe sepsis and 74 with septic shock, with in-hospital mortality rates of 6% (2/33) and 25% (17/74), respectively. Plasma concentrations of PSP/reg (343.5 vs. 73.5 ng/ml, P < 0.001), PCT (39.3 vs. 12.0 ng/ml, P < 0.001), IL-8 (682 vs. 184 ng/ml, P < 0.001) and IL-6 (1955 vs. 544 pg/ml, P < 0.01) were significantly higher in patients with septic shock than with severe sepsis. Of note, median PSP/reg was 13.0 ng/ml (IQR: 4.8) in 20 severely burned patients without infection. The area under the ROC curve for PSP/reg (0.65 [95% CI: 0.51 to 0.80]) was higher than for CRP (0.44 [0.29 to 0.60]), PCT 0.46 [0.29 to 0.61]), IL-8 (0.61 [0.43 to 0.77]) or IL-6 (0.59 [0.44 to 0.75]) in predicting in-hospital mortality. In patients with septic shock, PSP/reg was the only biomarker associated with in-hospital mortality (P = 0.049). Risk of mortality increased continuously for each ascending quartile of PSP/reg.


Measurement of PSP/reg concentration within 24 hours of ICU admission may predict in-hospital mortality in patients with septic shock, identifying patients who may benefit most from tailored ICU management.