Identification of Neopterin as a Potential Indicator of Infection in Burned Patients

David G. Burleson, Avery Johnson, Marvin Salin, Arthur D. Mason, Basil A. Pruitt

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13 Scopus citations


Several fluorescent substances are present in the supernatants of acid-precipitated whole blood or plasma from burned patients. Perchloric acid supernatants of sera from infected, but not uninfected, burned rats contained a fluorescent substance with maximum emission at 420 nm at 355-nm excitation (355 ex/420 em). In this study of serum from burned human patients, several fluorescent substances were resolved by reverse-phase high-pressure liquid chromatography. One of these fluorescent components had an high-pressure liquid chromatography retention time and fluorescent characteristics identical to those of neopterin. The identification of this component as neopterin was verified by thermospray mass spectrometry. Serum neopterin concentrations were then determined in supernatants of patient serum samples having various levels of 355 ex/420 em fluorescence. A correlation was found between the concentrations of neopterin determined by high-pressure liquid chromatography and the presence of bacteremia in burned patients. These findings suggest that neopterin, which is a useful indicator of infection in other clinical settings, may also be an indicator of infection in burned patients.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)305-310
Number of pages6
JournalProceedings of the Society for Experimental Biology and Medicine
Issue number3
StatePublished - Mar 1992

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)


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