Table of Contents Author Guidelines Submit a Manuscript
Emergency Medicine International
Volume 2019, Article ID 7238705, 7 pages
https://doi.org/10.1155/2019/7238705
Research Article

Increased Serum Concentrations of TNF-Like Weak Inducer of Apoptosis Predict Higher 28-Day Mortality in Patients with Sepsis

1Department of Intensive Care Unit, The Second Hospital of Shandong University, Jinan 250033, China
2Department of Cardiology, Qianfoshan Hospital Affiliated to Shandong University, Jinan 250014, China
3Department of Cardiovascular Medicine, The Second Hospital of Shandong University, Jinan 250033, China
4Central Research Laboratory, The Second Hospital of Shandong University, Jinan 250033, China
5Department of Emergency, The Second Hospital of Shandong University, Jinan 250033, China

Correspondence should be addressed to Shujian Sui; moc.361@jsiusrd

Received 2 July 2018; Revised 24 November 2018; Accepted 31 December 2018; Published 10 January 2019

Academic Editor: Chak W. Kam

Copyright © 2019 Ying Guo et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

Abstract

We performed the current study to explore potential predictive value of serum Tumor Necrosis Factor- (TNF-) like weak inducer of apoptosis (TWEAK) concentrations for 28-day mortality in patients with sepsis. Adult septic patients (age≥18 years) admitted to a general ICU between November 2016 and October 2017 were consecutively included in our prospective observational study. TWEAK concentrations were detected in septic patients and healthy controls. Dynamic changes of TWEAK concentrations between 1st day and 3rd day of admission to ICU (ΔTWEAK concentrations) were also measured. A total of 79 septic patients were included and 19 of them (24.1%) died after a follow-up period of 28 days. We identified arterial lactate, NT-proBNP, and male gender as independent factors for 28-day mortality of patients with sepsis. The serum levels of TWEAK were significantly lower in septic patients compared to controls (417.4 ± 196.7 pg/ml versus 1243.8 ± 174.3 pg/ml, p<0.001). We found a positive correlation between TWEAK concentrations and SOFA score (Spearman correlation coefficient 0.235, p=0.037). Area under the receiver operating characteristic curve (AUROC) of ΔTWEAK concentrations for 28-day mortality was 0.754 (95% CI 0.645–0.844). We also evaluated the diagnostic performance of combinative index (ΔTWEAK concentrations and lactate) and obtained an AUROC of 0.860 (95% CI 0.763-0.928). In conclusion, our study found lower TWEAK concentrations in septic patients than those in healthy controls. Furthermore, the increased TWEAK concentrations during disease process predict higher 28-day mortality in septic patients. Dynamic changes of TWEAK should be an important supplement for current prognostic markers.

1. Introduction

Sepsis remains a common cause for the hospitalization of patients. In view of the characteristics of rapid onset and rapid progress, it is also a common cause for the death of hospitalized patients, especially those who are critically ill [1, 2]. Although clinicians have a relatively good understanding for the pathophysiology of sepsis, they fail to prevent it from becoming a major public health concern throughout the world [1, 2].

It is crucial for clinicians to obtain early recognition and establish rational clinical procedures for septic patients. To this end, several biomarkers such as lactate and procalcitonin (PCT) have been routinely analyzed as patients admitted to intensive care unit (ICU) and recognized as reliable indicators for prognosis prediction of sepsis [35]. However, the predictive value of existing biomarkers is limited and it is necessary to discover new markers for clinical decision making. Furthermore, as the definition of sepsis has been updated in 2016 (sepsis-3) [1], it is also essential to reevaluate the diagnostic performances of some preexisting biomarkers.

Tumor Necrosis Factor- (TNF-) like weak inducer of apoptosis (TWEAK) is a secreted ligand in the TNF family and exists in forms of membrane-bound and soluble variant [6, 7]. The latter can be measured in serum to reflect the total levels of TWEAK pool [6]. Through binding to its receptor fibroblast growth factor-inducible 14 (Fn14), TWEAK involves many biologic effects including tissue repair-associated processes, e.g., cell proliferation, cell migration, and angiogenesis, as well as the activation of proinflammatory signaling pathways [8, 9]. The low expression of Fn14 in normal tissues and over expression when injuries occur reveals a special role for TWEAK/Fn14 pathway in inflammation [10]. In terms of the activating effect of TWEAK on proinflammatory cytokines (IL-8, IL-6, etc.) [11], some previous studies have evaluated the role of TWEAK in inflammation and found significantly alternated circulating TWEAK levels in some chronic inflammatory diseases such as systemic sclerosis, liver cirrhosis, etc. [12, 13]. Previous studies [6, 14] also tried to reveal the role of TWEAK in patients with sepsis. However, the currently available evidence is not consistent on the following issues: discrepancy of TWEAK concentrations in septic patients and healthy controls, relationship between TWEAK concentrations and other biomarkers, correlation between TWEAK concentrations and the severity of disease, etc. [6, 14]. Furthermore, few studies concern the role of dynamic changes of TWEAK concentrations in this population, which might be more meaningful for the prognosis of septic patients.

In the current study, we detected the concentrations of TWEAK in a prospective observational cohort and tried to explore its potential predictive value for 28-day mortality in patients with sepsis.

2. Materials and Methods

2.1. Patients

Adult septic patients (age≥18 years) admitted to a general ICU between November 2016 and October 2017 were consecutively included in our prospective observational study. According to the diagnostic criteria of sepsis 3.0 [1], sepsis was defined as life-threatening organ dysfunction (Sequential (sepsis-related) Organ Failure Assessment (SOFA) score ≥2 points) caused by a dysregulated host response to infection. Septic patients were initially treated with broad-spectrum empirical antibiotics, e.g., carbapenem, once the diagnoses were confirmed and deescalation of empirical antibiotics were adopted 3-5 days later if possible (according to microbiological culture results). We excluded patients who died within 3 days admitted to the ICU. Our study protocol followed the guidelines of the 1975 Helsinki Declaration (revised in 2008). Written informed consent was obtained from all patients prior to their inclusion to our study. The study protocol was also approved by the Ethical Committee of our Hospital.

2.2. Data Collection

Several baseline clinical characteristics (e.g., age, gender, temperature, blood pressure, source of infection, antibiotic application, etc.) were collected as patients admitted to the ICU. Liver function, creatinine, routine blood test, PCT, and C-reactive protein (CRP) were measured within 24 hours by clinical laboratory medicine center of the hospital. N-terminal pronatriuretic peptide (NT-proBNP) (VIDAS PBN2, bioMerieux, Marcy l’ Etoile, France) (within 24 hours) and serum lactate (arterial blood using a blood gas analyzer, GEM Premier 3000 with iQM; Instrumentation Laboratory, Bedford, MA) (within 30 minutes) were measured in our department. SOFA score and APACHE II (Acute Physiology and Chronic Health Evaluation score) were also calculated as soon as septic patients were included.

Serial serum samples for the detection of TWEAK levels were collected within 24 hours after admission and the 3rd day (48-72 hours after admission) of admission to ICU. The serum samples were then centrifuged for 15 minutes at 2800×g and stored at −80°C for the following assay. We detected TWEAK concentrations by using a commercially available enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA) kits from Cusabio (Wuhan, China). Proper sample dilutions were adopted when necessary (5-fold dilution).

We confirmed 28-day mortality as the primary observational end point of our study.

2.3. Statistical Analysis

Continuous variables were compared by using Student t-test or Mann-Whitney U test as appropriate. Categorical variables were compared with χ2 tests or Fisher exact test. Spearman rank correlation was used for bivariate correlation analysis. Multivariate logistic regression was performed by Forward LR method. P<0.05 was considered as statistically significance. All the above statistical analyses were conducted by using software IBM SPSS version 22.0 (IBM Corp., Armonk, NY, USA). Receiver operating characteristic (ROC) curves were generated for evaluation of diagnostic performances. Comparisons of areas under the receiver operating characteristic curve (AUROCs) were performed by using software MedCalc, version 12.7.0.0 (MedCalc Software bvba, Ostend, Belgium).

3. Results

3.1. Baseline Characteristics of the Included Septic Patients and Factors Related to 28-Day Mortality

Eighty-three patients were initially included in our cohort, of which 4 patients died within 3 days after admission to our department. In total, 79 septic patients were included in our study and 19 patients (24.1%) died after a follow-up period of 28 days. The overall mean age of study population was 66.6 ± 17.0 years and most patients were males (55/79). Pulmonary infection was the most common source of infection, which accounted for 53.2% (42 patients) of included patients. Other infectious sources included abdomen (19 patients, 24.1%), urinary system (3 patients, 3.8%), brain (2 patients, 2.5%), breast (1 patient, 1.3%), and mandibular abscess (1 patient, 1.3%). The infectious sources of other 11 patients (13.9%) were not confirmed or diagnosed as multiple organ infections without identification of the first infected viscera. Eight patients were diagnosed as septic cancer patients. The cancer type included esophageal cancer (3 patients), lung cancer (2 patients), gallbladder cancer (1 patient), carcinoma of urinary bladder (1 patient), and diffuse large b-cell lymphoma (1 patient).

The mean serum level of TWEAK at baseline was 417.4 ± 196.7 pg/ml (median 387.0 pg/ml; interquartile range (IQR) 246.0-565.0 pg/ml). In comparison with survivors, the nonsurvivors were found to be older (p=0.025), more males (p=0.031), higher APACHE II (p=0.010) and SOFA score (p=0.001), higher serum level of lactate (p=0.001), and NT-proBNP (p=0.007). Serum concentrations of TWEAK in the 3rd day of admission were also higher in nonsurvivors (p=0.026) (Table 1).

Table 1: Characteristics of included septic patients.

In order to reveal the baseline factors related to 28-day mortality, we performed multivariate logistic regression analysis in terms of age, gender, APACHE II, SOFA score, lactate, NT-proBNP, and TWEAK (Forward LR method). We identified arterial lactate (OR 1.36, 95% CI 1.09-1.70, p=0.006), NT-proBNP (OR 1.000, 95% CI 1.000-1.001, p=0.009), and male gender (OR 15.81, 95% CI 1.54-162.48, p=0.020) as independent factors for 28-day mortality of septic patients.

3.2. TWEAK Concentrations in Septic Patients and Healthy Controls

We included 20 healthy controls (mean age 45.1 ± 11.3 years, 11 males and 9 females). The serum levels of TWEAK were significantly lower in septic patients compared to controls (417.4 ± 196.7 pg/ml versus 1243.8 ± 174.3 pg/ml, p<0.001) (Figure 1(a)).

Figure 1: Serum TWEAK concentrations at ICU admission. (a) Serum TWEAK concentrations were significantly lower in septic patients compared to healthy controls (p<0.001). (b) There was no statistical significance between survivors and nonsurvivors for TWEAK concentrations (p=0.642).
3.3. TWEAK Concentrations and 28-Day Mortality

We found a positive correlation between TWEAK concentrations and SOFA score (Spearman correlation coefficient 0.235, p=0.037). However, there were no statistical significance between survivors and nonsurvivors for TWEAK concentrations (p=0.642) (Figure 1(b)). Considering the potential correlation between dynamic changes of TWEAK concentrations (ΔTWEAK concentrations) and 28-day mortality, we detected TWEAK concentrations in the 3rd day of admission to ICU (48-72 hours after admission). We found ΔTWEAK concentrations were significantly higher in nonsurvivors than patients survived after a follow-up period of 28-day (median 50.0 pg/ml, IQR 25.0 to 193.0 pg/ml versus median -47.5 pg/ml, IQR -184.0 to 30.5 pg/ml, p=0.001). We further evaluated the diagnostic performance of ΔTWEAK concentrations for 28-day mortality, which gave rise to an AUROC of 0.754 (95% CI 0.645–0.844) (Figure 2; Table 2).

Table 2: Diagnostic performances of 3 routine biomarkers (lactate, NT-proBNP and CRP), ΔTWEAK and combinative index (ΔTWEAK concentrations and lactate) for prognosis of patients with sepsis.
Figure 2: ROC curves of ΔTWEAK concentrations for 28-day mortality. ΔTWEAK concentrations refer to dynamic changes of TWEAK concentrations between 1st day and 3rd day of admission to ICU.

We then compared the diagnostic performance of ΔTWEAK concentrations with routine biomarkers (lactate, PCT, and CRP) for 28-day mortality. We found similar AUROCs between lactate and ΔTWEAK concentrations (0.746 versus 0.754, p=0.922). Besides, the diagnostic performance of ΔTWEAK concentrations was better than that of PCT or CRP (AUROC 0.754 versus 0.524, p=0.020 and 0.754 versus 0.534, p=0.024, respectively) (Figure 3(a); Table 2).

Figure 3: ROC curves comparing the diagnostic performances of: (a) C-reactive protein (CRP), procalcitonin, lactate, and ΔTWEAK concentrations for 28-day mortality. (b) Lactate, ΔTWEAK concentrations, and combinative index (ΔTWEAK concentrations and lactate) for 28-day mortality.

Furthermore, because of the relatively better diagnostic performance of ΔTWEAK concentrations and lactate, a combinative index was integrated by the two biomarkers through logistic regression and the AUROC was 0.860 (95% CI 0.763-0.928) (p=0.062 for comparing combinative index with ΔTWEAK concentrations and p=0.063 for comparing combinative index with lactate, respectively). The combinative index was calculated as follows: 1/(1+exp(-(3.178-0.620lactate-0.012ΔTWEAK))). A decreased combinative index predicts higher 28-day mortality in septic patients and the cut-off value was 0.7759. (Figure 3(b); Table 2).

3.4. Correlation of TWEAK Concentrations and Other Biomarkers

We also performed correlation analysis of TWEAK concentrations and other biomarkers. We found no correlation between TWEAK concentrations and CRP, PCT, NT-proBNP, or lactate. However, there were inverse correlations between ΔTWEAK concentrations and CRP (correlation coefficient -0.227, p=0.044) or PCT (correlation coefficient -0.242, p=0.031) (Table 3).

Table 3: Correlation of TWEAK concentrations and other biomarkers.

4. Discussion

In this study, we included 79 septic patients and found lower serum levels of TWEAK than healthy controls. We also explored the predictive value of increased serum TWEAK concentrations for 28-day mortality in patients with sepsis and hinted a positive correlation between TWEAK concentrations and severity of the disease.

Sepsis is a multifaceted host response to infection and has been found to activate both pro- and anti-inflammatory responses [1]. Immune imbalance is pivotal to the development of sepsis. The immune state of sepsis is diverse at different stages of the disease. Persistent and deteriorating immunosuppression during disease progress indicates a poor prognosis [15]. As a member of the TNF family, TWEAK exerts its proinflammatory effect by inducing the production of IL-6, IL-8, and monocyte chemotactic factor 1 [16]. It is therefore not surprising that TWEAK concentrations may significantly alter in the pathogenesis of sepsis.

Our study found that TWEAK concentrations were significantly lower in septic patients compared to controls, which was consistent with the conclusion of Roderburg et al. [6] and contrary to the result of Nagai et al. [14]. This discrepancy may be partially attributed to the different baseline characteristics of included patients and controls. All patients in cohort of Nagai et al. were diagnosed as septic shock and were treated by direct hemoperfusion; severity of disease may be an important factor for TWEAK concentrations. Meanwhile, in contrary to healthy controls, Nagai et al. included 20 nonseptic controls and potential alternation of TWEAK concentrations due to other pathophysiological features might be another source of discrepancy. Concentrations of TWEAK mRNA may also reveal alternations of serum TWEAK levels. Chicheportiche et al. [11] discovered downregulated expression of TWEAK mRNA levels in acute inflammations and this data further verified the conclusion of our study.

We found a positive correlation between TWEAK concentrations and SOFA score. As SOFA score is considered as a generally used classification system for severity of disease [17], we concluded that TWEAK concentrations were correlated to severity of the disease, which was consistent with previous studies [6, 18]. However, as mentioned above, we also found a significantly lower TWEAK concentrations in septic patients compared to healthy controls. The reason for his phenomenon remains unknown. It was said that the reason might be attributed to the diverse inflammatory response and immune state at different stages of sepsis. Further studies are required to verify this presumption. Zou et al. [10] found that levels of Fn14 were upregulated on pulmonary microvascular endothelial cells in murine sepsis-induced acute lung injury/acute respiratory distress syndrome. Previous studies also revealed that concentrations of CD163 increased acutely during inflammation and macrophage activation due to metalloproteinase mediated cleavage near the macrophage membrane [19]. As TWEAK activates by binding Fn14 receptor and is scavenged by binding the monocyte/macrophage scavenger receptor CD163 [810, 20], future studies focusing on the dynamic changes of Fn14 and CD163 in sepsis are required to reveal how the inflammatory response develops during the course of disease.

Previous studies revealed relatively higher TWEAK concentrations in nonsurvivors than survivors [6, 18]. In the current study, we found no statistical significance between survivors and nonsurvivors for TWEAK concentrations. Also, in the multivariate logistic regression analysis in terms of age, gender, APACHE II, SOFA score, lactate, NT-proBNP, and TWEAK, TWEAK concentrations were not an independent factor for 28-day mortality. However, we found that nonsurvivors displayed higher TWEAK concentrations in the 3rd day of admission compared to survivors (Table 1). Different disease course may be the source of discrepancy.

We also detected the dynamic changes of TWEAK concentrations between 1st day and 3rd day of admission to ICU (ΔTWEAK concentrations). We found ΔTWEAK concentrations were significantly higher in nonsurvivors than survivors; in other words, changes of TWEAK concentrations could predict 28-day mortality in patients with sepsis. Nagai et al. [14] also found that serum TWEAK levels remained stable in survivors and gradually increased in nonsurvivors in 20 patients with septic shock, which was consistent with our conclusion. Furthermore, we evaluated the diagnostic performance of ΔTWEAK concentrations for 28-day mortality in septic patients. An AUROC of 0.754 revealed a fine diagnostic performance. We also obtained an AUROC of 0.860 for combinative index (ΔTWEAK concentrations and lactate) in predicting 28-day mortality for septic patients, indicating a relatively good diagnostic performance. Therefore, dynamic changes of TWEAK should be complemented for current prognostic markers. The value for diagnostic performance of combinative index versus ΔTWEAK concentrations and lactate were 0.062 and 0.063, respectively; further studies with larger cohort may be helpful for more meaningful conclusions.

We found no correlation between serum levels of TWEAK and other biomarkers. The discrepancy between our cohort and previous study [6] might be attributed to complex complications in included patients. For example, NT-proBNP may be influenced by myocardial dysfunction in patients with severe sepsis and septic shock [21]; PCT and CRP have also been evaluated as predictors for patients with surgery [22, 23]. Hence, the significance of correlation analysis between TWEAK concentrations and other biomarkers is limited in view of the complex complications in septic patients. As we have mentioned above, combinative index based on multivariate regression analyses might be feasible for this population.

It is worth mentioning the limitations of this study. First, we only detected TWEAK concentrations by using a commercially available ELISA kits. Measurements of TWEAK mRNA and Fn14 expression might be needed for further verification. Second, ΔTWEAK concentrations between admission and the 3rd day may be not enough to reflect the immune dysfunction of sepsis; more precise dynamic changes might contribute further information in the future.

5. Conclusions

Our study found that TWEAK concentrations in septic patients are lower than those in healthy controls. Furthermore, the increased TWEAK concentrations during disease process predict higher 28-day mortality in septic patients. Dynamic changes of TWEAK should be an important supplement for current prognostic markers. Future inquires focusing on the alternations of Fn14 and CD163 may be helpful to reveal the diverse inflammatory response and immune state at different stages of sepsis.

Data Availability

The data used to support the findings of this study are available from the corresponding author upon request.

Conflicts of Interest

The authors declare that there are no conflicts of interest regarding the publication of this paper.

Acknowledgments

This study was supported by the Project of Science and Technology Development Plan of Shandong Province (no. 2013GSF12110) and Fundamental Research Funds for Nature Science of Shandong University (no. 12681704).

References

  1. M. Singer, C. S. Deutschman, C. W. Seymour et al., “The Third International Consensus Definitions for Sepsis and Septic Shock (Sepsis-3),” Journal of the American Medical Association, vol. 315, p. 801, 2016. View at Google Scholar
  2. A. Rhodes, L. E. Evans, W. Alhazzani et al., “Surviving Sepsis Campaign: International Guidelines for Management of Sepsis and Septic Shock: 2016,” Intensive Care Medicine, vol. 43, pp. 304–377, 2017. View at Google Scholar
  3. M. Hur, H. Kim, S. Lee et al., “Diagnostic and prognostic utilities of multimarkers approach using procalcitonin, B-type natriuretic peptide, and neutrophil gelatinase-associated lipocalin in critically ill patients with suspected sepsis,” BMC Infectious Diseases, vol. 14, no. 1, article 224, 2014. View at Publisher · View at Google Scholar · View at Scopus
  4. G. A. Ospina-Tascón, M. Umaña, W. Bermúdez et al., “Combination of arterial lactate levels and venous-arterial CO2 to arterial-venous O2 content difference ratio as markers of resuscitation in patients with septic shock,” Intensive Care Medicine, vol. 41, no. 5, pp. 796–805, 2015. View at Publisher · View at Google Scholar · View at Scopus
  5. H. Wang, Z. Li, M. Yin et al., “Combination of Acute Physiology and Chronic Health Evaluation II score, early lactate area, and N-terminal prohormone of brain natriuretic peptide levels as a predictor of mortality in geriatric patients with septic shock,” Journal of Critical Care, vol. 30, no. 2, pp. 304–309, 2015. View at Publisher · View at Google Scholar · View at Scopus
  6. C. Roderburg, F. Benz, F. Schüller et al., “Serum levels of TNF receptor ligands are dysregulated in sepsis and predict mortality in critically ill patients,” PLoS ONE, vol. 11, no. 4, p. e0153765, 2016. View at Publisher · View at Google Scholar
  7. Y. Chicheportiche, P. R. Bourdon, H. Xu et al., “TWEAK, a new secreted ligand in the tumor necrosis factor family that weakly induces apoptosis,” The Journal of Biological Chemistry, vol. 272, no. 51, pp. 32401–32410, 1997. View at Publisher · View at Google Scholar · View at Scopus
  8. J. A. C. Arana, A. Seher, M. Neumann, I. Lang, D. Siegmund, and H. Wajant, “TNF receptor-associated factor 1 is a major target of soluble TWEAK,” Frontiers in Immunology, vol. 5, p. 63, 2014. View at Google Scholar · View at Scopus
  9. C. Zhu, L. Zhang, Z. Liu, C. Li, and Y. Bai, “TWEAK/Fn14 interaction induces proliferation and migration in human airway smooth muscle cells via activating the NF-κB pathway,” Journal of Cellular Biochemistry, vol. 119, no. 4, pp. 3528–3536, 2018. View at Publisher · View at Google Scholar · View at Scopus
  10. Y. Zou, S. Bao, F. Wang et al., “FN14 blockade on pulmonary microvascular endothelial cells improves the outcome of sepsis-induced acute lung injury,” Shock, vol. 49, no. 2, pp. 213–220, 2018. View at Publisher · View at Google Scholar · View at Scopus
  11. Y. Chicheportiche, L. Fossati-Jimack, S. Moll, N. Ibnou-Zekri, and S. Izui, “Down-regulated expression of TWEAK mRNA in acute and chronic inflammatory pathologies,” Biochemical and Biophysical Research Communications, vol. 279, no. 1, pp. 162–165, 2000. View at Publisher · View at Google Scholar · View at Scopus
  12. O. Kowal-Bielecka, M. Bielecki, S. Guiducci et al., “High serum sCD163/sTWEAK ratio is associated with lower risk of digital ulcers but more severe skin disease in patients with systemic sclerosis,” Arthritis Research & Therapy, vol. 15, no. 3, p. R69, 2013. View at Google Scholar · View at Scopus
  13. W.-C. Fan, C.-C. Huang, Y.-Y. Yang et al., “Serum pentraxin-3 and tumor necrosis factor-like weak inducer of apoptosis (TWEAK) predict severity of infections in acute decompensated cirrhotic patients,” Journal of Microbiology, Immunology and Infection, vol. 50, no. 6, pp. 905–914, 2017. View at Publisher · View at Google Scholar · View at Scopus
  14. M. Nagai, K. Hirayama, I. Ebihara et al., “Serum TNF-related and weak inducer of apoptosis levels in septic shock patients,” Therapeutic Apheresis and Dialysis, vol. 15, no. 4, pp. 342–348, 2011. View at Publisher · View at Google Scholar · View at Scopus
  15. N. He, Q. Yan, and Z. Guo, “The immune response and inflammation in sepsis,” Chinese Journal of Critical Care Medicine, vol. 27, pp. 435–438, 2015. View at Google Scholar
  16. L. C. Burkly, J. S. Michaelson, K. Hahm, A. Jakubowski, and T. S. Zheng, “TWEAKing tissue remodeling by a multifunctional cytokine: role of TWEAK/Fn14 pathway in health and disease,” Cytokine, vol. 40, no. 1, pp. 1–16, 2007. View at Publisher · View at Google Scholar · View at Scopus
  17. J.-L. Vincent, R. Moreno, J. Takala et al., “The SOFA (Sepsis-related Organ Failure Assessment) score to describe organ dysfunction/failure,” Intensive Care Medicine, vol. 22, no. 7, pp. 707–710, 1996. View at Publisher · View at Google Scholar · View at Scopus
  18. J. J. Carrero, A. Ortiz, A. R. Qureshi et al., “Additive effects of soluble TWEAK and inflammation on mortality in hemodialysis patients,” Clinical Journal of the American Society of Nephrology, vol. 4, no. 1, pp. 110–118, 2009. View at Publisher · View at Google Scholar · View at Scopus
  19. H. J. Møller, “Soluble CD163,” Scandinavian Journal of Clinical & Laboratory Investigation, vol. 72, no. 1, pp. 1–13, 2011. View at Publisher · View at Google Scholar
  20. A. B. Sanz, O. Ruiz-Andres, M. D. Sanchez-Niño, M. Ruiz-Ortega, A. M. Ramos, and A. Ortiz, “Out of the TWEAKlight: Elucidating the Role of Fn14 and TWEAK in Acute Kidney Injury,” Seminars in Nephrology, vol. 36, no. 3, pp. 189–198, 2016. View at Publisher · View at Google Scholar · View at Scopus
  21. G. Landesberg, P. D. Levin, D. Gilon et al., “Myocardial dysfunction in severe sepsis and septic shock,” Chest, vol. 148, no. 1, pp. 93–102, 2015. View at Publisher · View at Google Scholar
  22. A. Garcia-Granero, M. Frasson, B. Flor-Lorente et al., “Procalcitonin and C-reactive protein as early predictors of anastomotic leak in colorectal surgery: A prospective observational study,” Diseases of the Colon & Rectum, vol. 56, no. 4, pp. 475–483, 2013. View at Publisher · View at Google Scholar · View at Scopus
  23. V. Giaccaglia, P. F. Salvi, G. V. Cunsolo et al., “Procalcitonin, as an early biomarker of colorectal anastomotic leak, facilitates enhanced recovery after surgery,” Journal of Critical Care, vol. 29, no. 4, pp. 528–532, 2014. View at Publisher · View at Google Scholar · View at Scopus