Recently, many diagnostic biomarkers were reported, but each had its own limitation. However, there is a need for an effective sensitivity and specificity of biomarker in diagnosis and prognosis of sepsis. In this context, progranulin (PGRN), at elevated levels, has been associated with poor prognosis in infectious diseases. Moreover, increased PGRN levels were seen in septic mice. As the prognostic value of PGRN in humans is unclear, we aimed to identify the predictive value of serum PGRN for the prognosis of sepsis.
A total of 128 participants with sepsis and 58 healthy controls were recruited in this study. The levels of serum PGRN were detected by enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay. According to the outcomes, patients were divided into survival and non-survival groups.
Serum PGRN levels had upregulated in patients with sepsis compared with those in healthy controls (P < 0.001) as well as in non‑survivors compared with those in survivors (P < 0.001). Furthermore, serum PGRN levels exhibited positive correlation with hypersensitive C-reactive protein, procalcitonin, sepsis‑related organ failure assessment (SOFA) scores, and acute physiology and chronic health evaluation II (APACHE II) scores. PGRN had a higher predictive effect, especially the 28-day in-hospital mortality (p < 0.001), when using it with SOFA or APACHE II scores. Cox proportional regression analysis showed that PGRN was an independent predictor for 28-day mortality risk in sepsis.
PGRN, as a biomarker of sepsis, could improve the prognostic power of traditional parameters. This study is the first to report the clinical significance of PGRN levels in terms of the severity and prognosis of sepsis.

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