Separating signal from noise: the challenge of identifying useful biomarkers in sepsis
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Abstract Sepsis diagnosis remains based largely on clinical presentation despite significant advances in the understanding of underlying pathophysiology and host-pathogen interactions. The systematic review article by Zonneveld and colleagues in the previous issue of Critical Care describes another potential avenue of study for using biomarkers for sepsis diagnosis and prognostication. Soluble leukocyte adhesion molecules and their associated sheddase enzymes vary in detectable levels and activity in patients in relation to immunologic status, age, and systemic inflammation, including in the setting of sepsis. Unfortunately, studies of these molecules as diagnostic or prognostic aids (or both) in sepsis have thus far been disappointing. Zonneveld and colleagues propose two potential avenues to enhance the performance characteristics of soluble adhesion molecules and their sheddases in sepsis diagnosis and prognosis: (a) identifying age-adjusted normal values for soluble leukocyte adhesion molecules and their sheddases and (b) investigating simultaneous measurement of both soluble adhesion molecules and sheddases in integrated sepsis evaluation schema. This commentary discusses the proposed solutions of Zonneveld and colleagues in more detail and outlines additional considerations that should be addressed in order to develop robust and valid diagnostic and prognostic tools for clinicians managing patients with sepsis.
Critical Care. 2014 Mar 17;18(2):121
Russell J McCulloh et al.; licensee BioMed Central Ltd.