Elevated MIF-2 levels predict mortality in critically ill patients

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D-dopachrome tautomerase (MIF-2 or DDT) is a member of the macrophage migration inhibitory factor (MIF) superfamily and a close structural homolog to MIF. Circulating MIF-2 has been described to be elevated in patients suffering from sepsis, severe burn injury and after surgery. We sought to evaluate the prognostic value of MIF-2 in critically ill patients.


A total of 72 patients were studied upon admission to the medical intensive care unit (ICU). MIF and MIF-2 levels were assessed and compared to healthy controls. Clinical data, various laboratory parameters and mortality were assessed.


We found significantly elevated levels of MIF-2 and MIF at admission to the ICU in critically ill patients compared to healthy controls. MIF-2 levels were associated with disease severity as measured by APACHE II scores. MIF-2 levels in ICU patients correlated with biomarkers reflecting organ damage, but were not influenced by acute or chronic kidney disease. Kaplan-Meier analysis revealed distinctly elevated mortality in patients with high plasma MIF-2 levels.


MIF-2 levels are elevated in critically ill patients and linked to parameters of organ damage, supporting its value as a potential tool for the assessment of prognosis in critical illness.

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