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Plasma sTNFR1 and IL8 for prognostic enrichment in sepsis trials: a prospective cohort study.



Enrichment strategies improve therapeutic targeting and trial efficiency, but enrichment factors for sepsis trials are lacking. We determined whether concentrations of soluble tumor necrosis factor receptor-1 (sTNFR1), interleukin-8 (IL8), and angiopoietin-2 (Ang2) could identify sepsis patients at higher mortality risk and serve as prognostic enrichment factors.


In a multicenter prospective cohort study of 400 critically ill septic patients, we derived and validated thresholds for each marker and expressed prognostic enrichment using risk differences (RD) of 30-day mortality as predictive values. We then used decision curve analysis to simulate the prognostic enrichment of each marker and compare different prognostic enrichment strategies.

Measurements and main results

An admission sTNFR1 concentration > 8861 pg/ml identified patients with increased mortality in both the derivation (RD 21.6%) and validation (RD 17.8%) populations. Among immunocompetent patients, an IL8 concentration > 94 pg/ml identified patients with increased mortality in both the derivation (RD 17.7%) and validation (RD 27.0%) populations. An Ang2 level > 9761 pg/ml identified patients at 21.3% and 12.3% increased risk of mortality in the derivation and validation populations, respectively. Using sTNFR1 or IL8 to select high-risk patients improved clinical trial power and efficiency compared to selecting patients with septic shock. Ang2 did not outperform septic shock as an enrichment factor.


Thresholds for sTNFR1 and IL8 consistently identified sepsis patients with higher mortality risk and may have utility for prognostic enrichment in sepsis trials.

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