Monocyte Distribution Width (MDW): Novel Sepsis Biomarker in the Emergency Department

New analysis from the pivotal study confirms abnormal MDW at presentation increases the odds of sepsis. Used early in emergency department patients, MDW enhances the odds of early sepsis detection by ~6-fold utilizing Sepsis-2 and ~4-fold based on Sepsis-3 criteria. 

Diagnostic uncertainty is a major challenge for patients presenting to the emergency department with a low number of signs and symptoms. 

New analysis of a pivotal study of 2,158 patients at three leading academic centers sought to determine if monocyte distribution width (MDW), a new sepsis biomarker, can aid in early sepsis detection in adult patients with present or developing sepsis symptoms in the emergency department. 

The value of MDW is that it provides physicians with an earlier indication of sepsis during the initial encounter, which is especially important when a patient’s symptoms are mild and alternative diagnoses are being considered.
Elliott Crouser
M.D., professor of Critical Care Medicine
Ohio State University Wexler Medical Center

The study determined that, when considered along with the standard physiologic parameters at the time of patient presentation, abnormal values of MDW signify a 4-6x increase in probability of sepsis diagnosis. In patients with a low level of symptoms and highest diagnostic uncertainty at presentation, abnormal MDW increased the odds of sepsis by ~3x.1

Emergency department physician

Peer-Reviewed Clinical Study MDW Aids Early Sepsis Detection in the Emergency Department Beyond SIRS and qSOFA

New analysis from the pivotal study shows that patients with abnormal values of MDW at presentation have increased odds of sepsis. 

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Referenced in This Article

1. Crouser, E. D., Parrillo, J. E., Martin, G. S., Huang, D. T., Hausfater, P., Grigorov, I., Tejidor, L. (2020). Monocyte distribution width enhances early sepsis detection in the emergency department beyond SIRS and qSOFA. Journal of Intensive Care, 8(1). doi:10.1186/s40560-020-00446-3