Nucleated red blood cells are associated with a higher mortality rate in patients with surgical sepsis

Sapana Desai, Stephen L. Jones, Krista L. Turner, Jeff Hall, Laura J. Moore

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

17 Scopus citations

Abstract

Background: Nucleated red blood cells (NRBCs) are present in certain non-oncologic disease states and are associated with a poor prognosis. The purpose of this study was to evaluate NRBCs as an early prognostic marker for death in patients with surgical sepsis. Methods: Retrospective evaluation of data collected prospectively from 275 patients from our Investigational Review Board-approved surgical sepsis database over a 27-mo period. The NRBC values were correlated with patient outcomes. The χ2 test was used for testing of categorical variables and the Mann-Whitney U was used for testing of continuous variables. The level of significance was set at 0.05. Results: At sepsis recognition, 48 patients (17.5%) were NRBC-positive. The mortality rate was greater in patients who were NRBC positive while in the intensive care unit (ICU); (27% vs. 12%; p=0.007) and during the hospital stay (35.4% vs. 15%; p=0.001). When NRBC-values at all time points are considered, 116 patients (42.2%) were NRBC-positive. The mortality rate was greater in patients who were NRBC-positive in both the ICU (23.3% vs. 8.2%; p<0.001) and during the hospital stay (31% vs. 9.4%; p<0.001). In-hospital and ICU mortality rates increased with increasing NRBC-concentration. For the 153 patients with severe sepsis, NRBC positivity at any time was associated with a higher ICU mortality rate (20% vs. 3.2%; p=0.001). Significant mortality differences did not occur between NRBC-positive and NRBC-negative patients with sepsis (n=48) or septic shock (n=74). Conclusions: Surgical sepsis patients with detectable NRBCs are at higher risk of ICU and in-hospital death than those with non-detectable NRBCs. The mortality difference is underscored in surgical patients with severe sepsis. This study suggests NRBCs may be a biomarker of outcomes in patients with surgical sepsis.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)360-365
Number of pages6
JournalSurgical Infections
Volume13
Issue number6
DOIs
StatePublished - Dec 1 2012

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery
  • Microbiology (medical)
  • Infectious Diseases

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