Kinetics of circulating fetuin-A may predict mortality independently from adiponectin, high molecular weight adiponectin and prognostic factors in critically ill patients with sepsis: A prospective study

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Fetuin-A and adiponectin, major hepatokine and adipokine respectively, have been implicated in systematic inflammation. Our aim was to jointly investigate whether kinetics of circulating fetuin-A, adiponectin and its isoform HMWA predict 28-day mortality in sepsis.

Materials and methods:

In a prospective study, serum fetuin-A, adiponectin and HMWA were determined in 102 ICU patients fulfilling the diagnostic criteria of SEPSIS-3, at enrollment and one week after, and in 102 healthy controls matched on age and gender.


Serum fetuin-A was significantly lower in septic patients than controls (p < 0.001). Among septic patients, those with septic shock and nonsurvivors presented lower fetuin-A, but higher adiponectin and HMWA compared to patients with sepsis and survivors respectively, both at baseline and day 7 (p < 0.001). Fetuin-A exhibited negative correlations with APACHE II, CRP, procalcitonin, adiponectin and IL-6 but a positive one with albumin. Reduced fetuin-A as well as lower serum kinetics of fetuin-A (HR: 0.55, 95% C.I. 0.34–0.91, p = 0.02), adiponectin but not HMWA were independently associated with 28-day mortality adjusting for age, gender, BMI, APACHE II, septic shock and laboratory biomarkers.


Circulating fetuin-A kinetics may be a prognostic biomarker in septic patients. More research is essential to elucidate fetuin-A's ontological role in sepsis pathophysiology.

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