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Table 1 Cytokine/chemokine biomarkers identified in the literature search (with some selected references)

From: Sepsis biomarkers: a review

Sepsis marker Evaluated in experimental studies Evaluated in clinical studies Evaluated as a prognostic factor Comment
GRO-alpha [49, 50] C (m) Higher in septic shock than in sepsis
High mobility group-box 1 protein (HMGB-1) [51, 52] C No difference between survivors and non-survivors at 28 days
IL-1 receptor antagonist [5355] A Correlation with SOFA score
IL-1β [56, 57] A   Increased in septic compared with non-septic individuals
IL-2 [58]   B Increased in parallel with disease severity
IL-4 [59]   C (s) Increased levels associated with development of sepsis
IL-6 [48, 60] B √* Distinguished between survivors and non-survivors at 28 days
IL-8 [61, 62]   B √*** Prediction of MOF, DIC
IL-10 [6365] B √** Higher in septic shock than sepsis, distinguished between survivors and non-survivors at 28 days
IL-12 [66, 67] C Predictive of lethal outcome from postoperative sepsis
IL-13 [68, 69] B Higher in septic shock than sepsis
IL-18 [37, 70] B(s) Distinguished between survivors and non-survivors at 28 days
Macrophage inflammatory protein (MIP)-1 and- 2 [71, 72] A Increased in sepsis compared with healthy controls
Macrophage migration inhibitory factor (MIF) [42, 73] A √** Distinguished between survivors and non-survivors at 28 days
Monocyte chemotactic protein (MCP)-1 and 2 [42, 74] B √* Distinguished between survivors and non-survivors at 28 days
Osteopontin [75]   B   Increased in sepsis compared with healthy controls
RANTES [76, 77] B   Increased in sepsis compared with healthy controls
TNF [78, 79] C Distinguished between survivors and non-survivors at 28 days in patients with septic shock
  1. *sensitivity and specificity of less than 90%; **sensitivity of more than 90% but specificity of less than 90%; ***sensitivity and specificity more than 90%; A, Clinical study with less than 20 patients; B, Clinical study with 20 to 50 patients; C, Clinical study with more than 50 patients; (s), surgical patients only; (m), medical patients only.
  2. DIC: disseminated intravascular coagulopathy; MOF: multiple organ failure; SOFA: sequential organ failure assessment.