Plasma Chemerin Is Induced in Critically Ill Patients with Gram-Positive Infections

Chemerin is a chemoattractant protein abundantly expressed in hepatocytes. Chemerin exerts pro- and anti-inflammatory effects and acts as a pro-resolving protein. Chemerin levels are low in patients with liver cirrhosis and are increased in sepsis. The aim of this study was to identify associations between plasma chemerin levels and underlying diseases as well as causes of severe illness. The cohort included 32 patients with liver cirrhosis who had low systemic chemerin, and who were not considered for further evaluation. Plasma chemerin levels were similar between the 27 patients with systemic inflammatory response syndrome (SIRS), the 34 patients with sepsis and the 63 patients with septic shock. Chemerin in plasma correlated with C-reactive protein and leukocyte count but not with procalcitonin, a clinical marker of bacterial infection. Plasma chemerin did not differ among patients with and without ventilation and patients with and without dialysis. Vasopressor therapy was not associated with altered plasma chemerin levels. Infection with severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 had no effect on plasma chemerin levels. Baseline levels of plasma chemerin could not discriminate between survivors and non-survivors. Notably, Gram-positive infection was associated with higher chemerin levels. In summary, the current study suggests that plasma chemerin might serve as an early biomarker for the diagnosis of Gram-positive infections in patients with sepsis.


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