Circulating Complement C3-Alpha Chain Levels Predict Survival of Septic Shock Patients

Tzu Hsuan Cheng, Michael Puskarich, Xiang Li, Zhou Fang, Fou Xu, Yong Chen, Xian Cheng Jiang, Samrat Worah, Alan E. Jones, Ming Zhang

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BACKGROUND: Circulating complement C3 fragments released during septic shock might contribute to the development of complications such as profound hypotension and disseminated intravascular coagulation. The role of C3 in the course of septic shock varies in the literature, possibly because circulating C3 exists in different forms indistinguishable via traditional ELISA-based methods. We sought to test the relationship between C3 forms, measured by Western blotting with its associated protein size differentiation feature, and clinical outcomes.

METHODS: Secondary analysis of two prospective cohorts of patients with septic shock: a discovery cohort of 24 patents and a validation cohort of 181 patients. C3 levels were measured by Western blotting in both cohorts using blood obtained at enrollment. Differences between survivors and non-survivors were compared, and the independent prognostic values of C3 forms were assessed.

RESULTS: In both cohorts there were significantly lower levels of the C3-alpha chain in non-survivors than in survivors, and persisted after controlling for sequential organ failure assessment score. Area under the receiver operating characteristics to predict survival was 0.65 (95% confidence interval: 0.56-0.75). At a best cutoff value (Youden) of 970.6 μg/mL, the test demonstrated a sensitivity of 68.5% and specificity of 61.5%. At this cutoff point, Kaplan-Meier survival analysis showed that patients with lower levels of C3-alpha chain had significantly lower survival than those with higher levels (P < 0.001).

CONCLUSION: Circulating C3-alpha chain levels is a significant independent predictor of survival in septic shock patients.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)190-197
Number of pages8
Issue number2
StatePublished - Aug 1 2020

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