Presepsin levels in cirrhotic patients with bacterial infections and/or portal hypertension-related bleeding, presenting with or without acute kidney injury

Authors Ioannis Elefsiniotis, Stefanos A. Tsakiris, Georgia Barla, Athanasia Tasovasili, Dimitrios Vrachatis, Christos Mavrogiannis.


Background Bacterial infections in cirrhotic patients remain a challenge. Presepsin has been proposed as a valuable sepsis biomarker. We aimed to assess plasma presepsin levels in uncomplicated cirrhotic patients and to correlate them with liver disease severity and complicating events, defined as documented bacterial infection with or without concomitant portal hypertension-related bleeding, or bleeding without documented bacterial infection, with or without acute kidney injury.

Methods We prospectively evaluated the presepsin levels of 108 consecutive uncomplicated cirrhotic patients with compensated (55, 50.9%) or decompensated (53, 49.1%) cirrhosis. During the follow up, 20 patients were reevaluated for a complicating event.

Results Mean baseline presepsin levels of the entire population were 440.4 pg/mL. Patients with decompensated cirrhosis exhibited significantly higher baseline levels than patients with compensated cirrhosis (599.1±492.2 vs. 287.5±130.5 pg/mL, P<0.001). In complicated cirrhotic patients, admission levels were remarkably higher than baseline (1438.0±1247.2 vs. 725.3±602.8 pg/mL, P<0.001), especially in those who developed acute kidney injury compared to those who did not (1827.3±1118.8 vs. 1048.7±1302.1 pg/mL, P<0.05). Baseline presepsin levels, using a cutoff of 607.5 pg/mL, could predict liver disease-related 3-month mortality with 77.8% sensitivity and 86.9% specificity: area under the receiver operating characteristic curve 0.825; 95%
confidence interval 0.684-0.967; P<0.01.

Conclusions Plasma presepsin levels are elevated in uncomplicated cirrhotic patients, especially in those with advanced liver disease, and rise further in those complicated by an event. Baseline presepsin levels in cirrhotic patients could be used as an additional marker, along with the model for end-stage liver disease score, to predict short-term outcomes.

Keywords Presepsin, liver cirrhosis, bacterial infections, model for end-stage liver disease score

Ann Gastroenterol 2018; 31 (5): 604-612

Original Articles