Published: 2017-05-23

Red cell distribution width as a prognostic marker in severe sepsis and septic shock

Mohammed Aslam Shaikh, Durga Rao Yadavalli


Background: The incidence of severe sepsis and septic shock has increased over the past 30 years, and the annual number of cases is now >700,000 (~3 per 1000 population). There are many markers of sepsis which are being evaluated for its diagnosis among which RDW is emerging as a promising marker. Hence this study is being done to see the correlation between RDW and sepsis.

Methods: A total of 162 patients-81 survivors and 81 non-survivors of severe sepsis and septic shock fulfilling inclusion and exclusion criteria who were admitted to intensive care unit between October 2013 and September 2015 were included in the study. Baseline variables, laboratory parameters, complications, and RDW were compared between the two groups.

Results: Majority of patients - 73(45.06%) were in the age group of 61 - 80 years. Mean RDW was 15.20±2.29 in non-survivors and 13.86±2.20 in survivors, which was statistically significant (p<0.001). Mean RDW was higher and statistically significant among non-survivors with respect to duration of stay and requirement of inotropes.

Conclusions: RDW levels measured on admission can be used as a prognostic marker in patients in severe sepsis and septic shock.


Red cell distribution width, Sepsis, Septic shock

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