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C-reactive protein/albumin ratio predicts 90-day mortality of septic patients.

PLoS One. 2013;8(3):e59321

Authors: Ranzani OT, Zampieri FG, Forte DN, Azevedo LC, Park M


INTRODUCTION: Residual inflammation at ICU discharge may have impact upon long-term mortality. However, the significance of ongoing inflammation on mortality after ICU discharge is poorly described. C-reactive protein (CRP) and albumin are measured frequently in the ICU and exhibit opposing patterns during inflammation. Since infection is a potent trigger of inflammation, we hypothesized that CRP levels at discharge would correlate with long-term mortality in septic patients and that the CRP/albumin ratio would be a better marker of prognosis than CRP alone.

METHODS: We evaluated 334 patients admitted to the ICU as a result of severe sepsis or septic shock who were discharged alive after a minimum of 72 hours in the ICU. We evaluated the performance of both CRP and CRP/albumin to predict mortality at 90 days after ICU discharge. Two multivariate logistic models were generated based on measurements at discharge: one model included CRP (Model-CRP), and the other included the CRP/albumin ratio (Model-CRP/albumin).

RESULTS: There were 229 (67%) and 111 (33%) patients with severe sepsis and septic shock, respectively. During the 90 days of follow-up, 73 (22%) patients died. CRP/albumin ratios at admission and at discharge were associated with a poor outcome and showed greater accuracy than CRP alone at these time points (p = 0.0455 and p = 0.0438, respectively). CRP levels and the CRP/albumin ratio were independent predictors of mortality at 90 days (Model-CRP: adjusted OR 2.34, 95% CI 1.14-4.83, p = 0.021; Model-CRP/albumin: adjusted OR 2.18, 95% CI 1.10-4.67, p = 0.035). Both models showed similar accuracy (p = 0.2483). However, Model-CRP was not calibrated.

CONCLUSIONS: Residual inflammation at ICU discharge assessed using the CRP/albumin ratio is an independent risk factor for mortality at 90 days in septic patients. The use of the CRP/albumin ratio as a long-term marker of prognosis provides more consistent results than standard CRP values alone.

PMID: 23555017 [PubMed - in process]