January 14, 2020
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New biomarker may identify septic patients at higher risk for mortality

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Researchers identified a protein, oncostatin-M, as a potential prognostic biomarker and therapeutic target for sepsis, according to a study published in The Journal of Infectious Diseases.

“Oncostatin-M (OSM) is known for a variety of biological functions, including the regulation of proliferation, inflammation, differentiation, apoptosis, and the regeneration of various tissues,” Ju Cao, MD, PhD, from the department of laboratory medicine at the First Affiliated Hospital of Chongqing Medical University in Chongqing, China, and colleagues wrote. “Interestingly, OSM secretion has been associated with the modulation of multiple inflammatory diseases, including rheumatoid arthritis, asthma, inflammatory bowel disease, osteoarthritis, hepatic cellular carcinoma and bacterial pneumonia. However, the role of OSM in sepsis has remained unclear.”

To investigate this, Gong and colleagues enrolled 49 patients with sepsis at the Second Affiliated Hospital of Chongqing Medical University ICU between October 2017 and December 2018 and analyzed serum OSM levels on their day of admission.

Results of the study showed that on day 1 of ICU admission, septic patients had higher serum OSM levels compared with ICU patient controls and healthy volunteers. Further, Cao and colleagues found that a high serum OSM level at ICU admission was independently predictive of 28-day mortality in septic patients, as was SOFA score. They reported that the area under the curve (AUC) of OSM for predicting 28-day mortality in septic patients was 0.80 (95% CI, 0.69-0.92) on day of ICU admission — significantly higher than that of SOFA score (AUC, 0.73; 95% CI, 0.64-0.85) and procalcitonin (AUC, 0.65; 95% CI, 0.52-0.76). The findings were supported in a mouse model.

“This pilot study found a significant elevation in the serum OSM levels in the patients with sepsis, and OSM levels correlated with disease severity of sepsis. Moreover, the serum OSM level on day of ICU admission was related to 28-day mortality in septic patients,” the authors concluded. “These results suggest that OSM measurement may represent a new biomarker for identification of a group of septic patients presenting with higher risk of mortality.” – by Caitlyn Stulpin

Disclosures: The authors report no relevant financial disclosures.