Jump to main content
Jump to site search
Access to RSC content Close the message box

Continue to access RSC content when you are not at your institution. Follow our step-by-step guide.

Issue 4, 2017
Previous Article Next Article

Mass spectrometry for the discovery of biomarkers of sepsis

Author affiliations


Sepsis is a serious medical condition that occurs in 30% of patients in intensive care units (ICUs). Early detection of sepsis is key to prevent its progression to severe sepsis and septic shock, which can cause organ failure and death. Diagnostic criteria for sepsis are nonspecific and hinder a timely diagnosis in patients. Therefore, there is currently a large effort to detect biomarkers that can aid physicians in the diagnosis and prognosis of sepsis. Mass spectrometry is often the method of choice to detect metabolomic and proteomic changes that occur during sepsis progression. These “omics” strategies allow for untargeted profiling of thousands of metabolites and proteins from human biological samples obtained from septic patients. Differential expression of or modifications to these metabolites and proteins can provide a more reliable source of diagnostic biomarkers for sepsis. Here, we focus on the current knowledge of biomarkers of sepsis and discuss the various mass spectrometric technologies used in their detection. We consider studies of the metabolome and proteome and summarize information regarding potential biomarkers in both general and neonatal sepsis.

Graphical abstract: Mass spectrometry for the discovery of biomarkers of sepsis

Back to tab navigation

Article information

14 Sep 2016
05 Feb 2017
First published
08 Feb 2017

Mol. BioSyst., 2017,13, 648-664
Article type
Review Article

Mass spectrometry for the discovery of biomarkers of sepsis

K. R. Ludwig and A. B. Hummon, Mol. BioSyst., 2017, 13, 648
DOI: 10.1039/C6MB00656F

Search articles by author