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Functional protein C levels in septic patients


To know whether functional protein C (FPC) levels in critical septic patients could be intended as an evolution marker correlated with prognosis and mortality.

Materials and methods

A prospective study with determination of FPC levels in all septic patients admitted to the ICU. We used the IL test™ PC kit (Instrumentation Laboratory; synthetic chromogenic substrate). We considered an abnormal low FPC when levels were below 40%, normal FPC when levels were above 80% and low FPC when levels where between 40% and 80%. Data included patient age, diagnosis, SAPS II, SOFA score, OSF and mortality. The analytical data included serum lactate and FPC. Patients were divided into three groups: group I (FPC below 40%), group II (FPC 40–80%) and group III (FPC above 80%). The statistical study was performed with the Analyse-it® program. The severity was defined by the usual criteria of SAPS II score and lactate levels and then compared with the different FPC groups. Mortality was considered.


We included 65 patients. The total mortality rate was 16.9% (11 patients).


We found a direct and a progressive relation with statistical significance between the higher mortality rate and the lower protein C values. The results could mean that the level of protein C can be used as an evolution marker in septic patients.

Table 1 abstract P7

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Lafuente, E., Pratima, I., Fernandes, M. et al. Functional protein C levels in septic patients. Crit Care 11 (Suppl 2), P52 (2007).

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