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01.12.2018 | Research | Ausgabe 1/2018 Open Access

Critical Care 1/2018

Plasma myeloperoxidase-conjugated DNA level predicts outcomes and organ dysfunction in patients with septic shock

Critical Care > Ausgabe 1/2018
Yuki Maruchi, Masanobu Tsuda, Hisatake Mori, Nobuyoshi Takenaka, Takayoshi Gocho, Muhammad A. Huq, Naoshi Takeyama
Wichtige Hinweise

Electronic supplementary material

The online version of this article (https://​doi.​org/​10.​1186/​s13054-018-2109-7) contains supplementary material, which is available to authorized users.
A comment to this article is available online at https://​doi.​org/​10.​1186/​s13054-018-2246-z.



Recent studies have suggested that excessive formation of neutrophil extracellular traps (NETs) plays a critical role in the pathogenesis of sepsis. Although elevation of the plasma level of cell-free DNA (cf-DNA) has been reported in sepsis patients, there has been little direct measurement of circulating free NETs such as myeloperoxidase-conjugated DNA (MPO-DNA). The objectives of this study were to detect NETs in the bloodstream of patients with septic shock, and to assess the correlations of circulating NET levels with organ dysfunction, disease severity, and mortality.


Fifty-five patients with septic shock admitted to the intensive care units (ICUs) of 35 Japanese hospitals were studied. Septic shock was diagnosed according to the 1997 definition of the American College of Chest Physicians/Society of Critical Care Medicine. To detect circulating NETs, plasma levels of MPO-DNA and cf-DNA were measured by sandwich enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay and by fluorometric assay on days 1, 3, and 7 after the onset of septic shock. Physiological and mortality data were collected from the clinical database.


On days 1, 3, and 7, the patients showed a marked increase in plasma MPO-DNA levels compared with healthy volunteers, whereas the plasma cf-DNA level was only increased significantly on day 1 and then decreased rapidly. A high MPO-DNA level on days 3 and 7 were associated with 28-day mortality.
On days 3 and 7, the MPO-DNA levels were inversely correlated with both the mean arterial pressure and the PaO2/FIO2 ratio, whereas the cf-DNA level was not correlated with either parameter. There was a positive correlation between the plasma MPO-DNA level and the sepsis-related organ failure assessment score on days 3 and 7. Neither cf-DNA nor MPO-DNA levels were correlated with the disseminated intravascular coagulation (DIC) score or the platelet count.


The increase in circulating MPO-DNA in patients with septic shock indicates acceleration of NET formation in the early stages of sepsis. High MPO-DNA levels are associated with the severity of organ dysfunction and 28-day mortality due to septic shock, but not with the DIC score. These results suggest that excessive NET formation contributes to the pathogenesis of septic shock.
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