Hyperferritinemia in Critically Ill Patients.

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Hyperferritinemia in Critically Ill Patients.

Crit Care Med. 2019 Dec 24;:

Authors: Lachmann G, Knaak C, Vorderwülbecke G, La Rosée P, Balzer F, Schenk T, Schuster FS, Nyvlt P, Janka G, Brunkhorst FM, Keh D, Spies C

OBJECTIVE: Hyperferritinemia is frequently seen in critically ill patients. A rather rare though life-threatening condition related to severely elevated ferritin is hemophagocytic lymphohistiocytosis. We analyze ferritin levels to differentiate hemophagocytic lymphohistiocytosis from other causes of hyperferritinemia in a mixed cohort of critically ill patients.
DESIGN: Retrospective observational study.
SETTING: Adult surgical, anesthesiologic, and medical ICUs of a university hospital.
PATIENTS: Critical care patients (≥ 18 yr old) admitted to any of the adult ICUs at Charité - Universitätsmedizin Berlin between January 2006 and August 2018 with at least one ferritin value and hyperferritinemia (≥ 500 µg/L).
MEASUREMENTS AND MAIN RESULTS: Patients were categorized into hemophagocytic lymphohistiocytosis, sepsis, septic shock, and other diagnoses. These were further categorized into 17 subgroups. Hemophagocytic lymphohistiocytosis diagnosis was based on Hemophagocytic Lymphohistiocytosis-2004 criteria and the HScore. Of 2,623 patients with hyperferritinemia, 40 were considered to have hemophagocytic lymphohistiocytosis (1.52%). Maximum ferritin levels were highest in hemophagocytic lymphohistiocytosis patients compared with all other disease groups (each p < 0.001). Sepsis and septic shock patients had higher maximum ferritin levels than patients with other diagnoses (each p < 0.001). A maximum ferritin value of 9,083 µg/L was at 92.5% sensitivity and 91.9% specificity for hemophagocytic lymphohistiocytosis (area under the curve, 0.963; 95% CI, 0.949-0.978). Of all subgroups with other diagnoses, maximum ferritin levels were highest in patients with varicella-zoster virus, hepatitis, or malaria (median, 1,935, 1,928, and 1,587 µg/L, respectively). Maximum ferritin levels were associated with increased in-hospital mortality (odds ratio, 1.518 per log µg/L [95% CI, 1.384-1.665 per log µg/L]; p < 0.001).
CONCLUSIONS: This is the largest study of patients with ferritin available in a mixed ICU cohort. Ferritin levels in patients with hemophagocytic lymphohistiocytosis, sepsis, septic shock, and other conditions were distinctly different, with the highest ferritin levels observed in hemophagocytic lymphohistiocytosis patients. Maximum ferritin of 9,083 µg/L showed high sensitivity and specificity and, therefore, may contribute to improved diagnosis of hemophagocytic lymphohistiocytosis in ICU. The inclusion of ferritin into the sepsis laboratory panel is warranted.

PMID: 31876528 [PubMed - as supplied by publisher]

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