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Leptin in sepsis: a well-suited biomarker in critically ill patients?

By Rodolfo Leonel Bracho-Riquelme and Miguel Arturo Reyes-Romero


The value of monitoring serum leptin in critically ill patients is important for early diagnosis and differentiation between sepsis and non-infectious systemic inflammatory response syndrome (SIRS). The early diagnosis of sepsis, the identification of its origin, and an adequate therapeutic management are crucial to overcome sepsis-associated mortality. Cytokine levels are an obvious choice as sepsis markers, since cytokines are key mediators of the inflammatory response to sepsis. Leptin, a hormone mainly generated by adipocytes, acts centrally in the hypothalamus to regulate body weight and energy expenditure. There is, however, strong evidence that leptin is also involved in cell-mediated immunity and cytokine crosstalk. The finding that a serum leptin threshold of 38 μg/l can distinguish between sepsis and non-infectious SIRS (sensitivity 91.2%, specificity 85%) is the major finding in the article by Yousef and colleagues (in this issue). Much remains to be learned about the precise mechanisms by which leptin signaling participates in sepsis and non-infectious SIRS. This knowledge will potentially contribute to new therapeutic approaches

Topics: Commentary
Publisher: BioMed Central
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Provided by: PubMed Central

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