By: Christian Ramakers, PhD, ESLM, Erasmus Medical Center Rotterdam, The Netherlands

As one of seven university hospitals in The Netherlands, the Erasmus MC (Fig. 1) in Rotterdam plays an important role in the tertiary care of patients. Working closely together with four regional hospitals in the greater Rotterdam area, the Erasmus MC has reserved the majority of its 850 beds solely for those patients who need complex care that cannot be provided by our regional partners. With more than 550,000 out-patient clinic visits each year, Erasmus MC is one of the biggest hospital care providers in The Netherlands.

It is well known that most of the medical decisions that clinicians make, are based on lab results. In that respect the Department of Clinical Chemistry, as part of the division of Laboratory Medicine of the Erasmus MC, plays an essential supportive role. Next to our role in the care for patients this department also focuses on novel biomarker research, and participates in numerous clinical research projects in which (new) biomarkers are involved. Two examples of the latter include the FORESEEN study and the CIUM study. In short, while the FORESEEN study looks at the added diagnostic as well as prognostic value of biomarkers used in acute care patients in the Emergency Department (ED) that present with fever, the CIUM study does the same, but in ventilated ICU patients. One of the biomarkers under investigation for both studies is suPAR.