Results from preclinical and adult sepsis studies suggest that the balance of circulating angiopoietin-1 and -2 levels, represented as angiopoietin-2/-1 ratios, plays a pivotal role in mediating vascular dysfunction and organ injury during sepsis. However, the relationship of plasma angiopoietins with organ injury and clinical outcomes in children with sepsis remains unknown. We sought to determine whether plasma angiopoietin-1 and -2 levels and angiopoietin-2/-1 ratios in the acute phase of sepsis correlated with measures of organ injury and clinical outcomes in children with sepsis.
Prospective observational cohort study.
PICU within a tertiary freestanding children’s hospital.
Children 18 years old or less and greater than 3 kg admitted to the PICU for sepsis.
Measurements and Main Results:
Plasma angiopoietin-1 and -2 levels were measured in 38 children with sepsis 0–6, 24, 48, and 72 hours following PICU admission. Children with elevated pediatric Sequential Organ Failure Assessment scores on the third day after PICU admission demonstrated significantly higher 24–72-hour angiopoietin-2/-1 ratios predominantly as a function of higher angiopoietin-2 levels. In children with sepsis-induced organ dysfunction, angiopoietin-2/-1 ratios correlated with oxygenation indices and serum levels of creatinine and bilirubin. Forty-eight- and 72-hour angiopoietin-2/-1 ratios correlated with PICU length of stay (Spearman rho = 0.485, p = 0.004 and rho = 0.440, p = 0.015, respectively).
In the acute phase of sepsis in children, plasma angiopoietin-2/-1 ratios rise significantly above control levels and correlate with measures of organ injury and worse clinical outcomes after 24 hours. Our findings suggest that angiopoietin dysregulation begins early in sepsis and, if sustained, may promote greater organ injury that can lead to worse clinical outcomes.