International Journal of Legal Medicine

, Volume 129, Issue 5, pp 1079–1084 | Cite as

Postmortem serum protein growth arrest-specific 6 levels in sepsis-related deaths

  • Cristian PalmiereEmail author
  • Marc Augsburger
Original Article


Growth arrest-specific 6 (Gas6) is widely expressed in leukocytes, platelets, endothelial cells, and monocytes. It regulates various processes including granulocyte adhesion to the endothelium, cell migration, thrombus stabilization, and cytokine release. In humans, increased plasma Gas6 levels have been described in patients with sepsis and septic shock. In this study, Gas6 concentrations were measured in postmortem serum from femoral blood in a series of sepsis-related fatalities and control cases. The aims were twofold: first, to determine whether Gas6 can be reliably determined in postmortem serum; and second, to assess its diagnostic potential in identifying sepsis-related deaths. Two study groups were prospectively formed, a sepsis-related fatalities group (24 cases) and a control group (24 cases) including cases of deep vein thrombosis and fatal pulmonary embolism, cases of systemic inflammatory response syndrome in severe trauma, cases of end-stage renal failure, and cases of hanging (non-septic, non-SIRS, non-end stage renal failure cases). The preliminary results of this study seem to indicate that Gas6 can be effectively measured in postmortem serum. However, Gas6 levels in sepsis-related fatalities do not appear to be clearly distinguishable from concentrations in pulmonary embolism, severe trauma, and end-stage renal failure cases. These findings tend to support previous reports that indicated that Gas6 behaves as an acute phase reactant and can be considered a general marker of inflammation rather than a specific biomarker of sepsis.


Gas6 Inflammation markers Inflammation Infection Sepsis Autopsy 


Conflict of interest

The authors declare that they have no competing interests.

Funding source

This study was not financially supported.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2015

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.CURMLLausanneSwitzerland

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