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Biomark Med. 2011 Apr;5(2):117-30. doi: 10.2217/bmm.11.21.

Established and novel biomarkers of sepsis.

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  • 1Stanford Clinical Laboratory at Hillview, 3375 Hillview Avenue, MC 5627, Palo Alto, CA 94304-1204, USA.


The increased incidence of sepsis, a systemic response to infection that occurs in some patients, has stimulated interest in identifying infected patients who are at risk and intervening early. When this condition progresses to severe sepsis (characterized by organ dysfunction), mortality is high. Hospitals that have implemented recommendations of the Surviving Sepsis Campaign have seen a reduction in mortality rate for hospital-acquired severe sepsis. They may reduce this further by focusing on new approaches to diagnosing sepsis, especially at an early stage. Sepsis is a complicated syndrome with many physiological derangements and many emerging laboratory markers of sepsis have been proposed as adjuncts to clinical evaluation. The list includes cytokines, acute phase proteins, neutrophil activation markers, markers of abnormal coagulation and, recently, markers of suppression of both the innate and adaptive immune response. The perfect biomarker would accurately identify patients at risk of developing severe sepsis and then guide targeted therapy.

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