Aim: The aim of the current study is to assess the mortality prediction accuracy of circulating cell-free DNA (CFD) level at admission measured by a new simplified method. Materials and Methods: CFD levels were measured by a direct fluorescence assay in severe sepsis patients on intensive care unit (ICU) admission. In-hospital and/or twenty eight day all-cause mortality was the primary outcome. Results: Out of 108 patients with median APACHE II of 20, 32.4% have died in hospital/or at 28-day. CFD levels were higher in decedents: median 3469.0 vs. 1659 ng/ml, p<0.001. In multivariable model APACHE II score and CFD (quartiles) were significantly associated with the mortality: odds ratio of 1.05, p = 0.049 and 2.57, p<0.001 per quartile respectively. C-statistics for the models was 0.79 for CFD and 0.68 for APACHE II. Integrated discrimination improvement (IDI) analyses showed that CFD and CFD+APACHE II score models had better discriminatory ability than APACHE II score alone. Conclusions: CFD level assessed by a new, simple fluorometric-assay is an accurate predictor of acute mortality among ICU patients with severe sepsis. Comparison of CFD to APACHE II score and Procalcitonin (PCT), suggests that CFD has the potential to improve clinical decision making.
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