The adipokine visfatin, also termed pre-B-cell colony-enhancing factor (PBEF), is mainly derived from adipose tissue but has been implicated in the regulation of innate immune responses. We hypothesized that visfatin could be a potential circulating biomarker in critical illness and sepsis. We therefore measured serum levels of visfatin in a cohort of 229 critically ill medical patients upon admission to the intensive care unit (ICU). In comparison to 53 healthy controls, visfatin levels were significantly elevated in medical ICU patients, especially in patients with sepsis. Visfatin serum concentrations were strongly associated with disease severity and organ failure but did not differ between patients with or without obesity or type 2 diabetes. Visfatin levels correlated with biomarkers of renal failure, liver dysfunction, and other adipokines (e.g., resistin, leptin, and adiponectin) in critically ill patients. High visfatin levels at ICU admission indicated an increased mortality, both at the ICU and during long-term follow-up of approximately two years. Our data therefore demonstrate that circulating visfatin is a valuable biomarker for risk and prognosis assessment in critically ill patients. Furthermore, visfatin seems to be involved in the pathogenesis of excessive systemic inflammation, supporting further research on visfatin as a therapeutic target.
Koch, A., Weiskirchen, R., Krusch, A., Bruensing, J., Buendgens, L., Herbers, U., … Tacke, F. (2018). Visfatin Serum Levels Predict Mortality in Critically Ill Patients. Disease Markers, 2018. https://doi.org/10.1155/2018/7315356