Introduction: Patients suffering from sepsis are currently classified on a clinical basis (i.e., sepsis, severe sepsis, septic shock); however, this clinical classification may not accurately reflect the overall immune status of an individual patient. Our objective was to describe a cohort of patients with sepsis in terms of their measured immune status.Methods: Fifty-two patients with sepsis (n = 13), severe sepsis (n = 21), or septic shock (n = 18) were studied. The immune status was determined by measuring the CD4+ lymphocyte adenosine triphosphate (ATP) content after mitogen stimulation in whole blood.Results: The measured CD4+ lymphocyte ATP content at the time of ICU admission did not differ among the various groups defined by the sepsis classification system (sepsis = 454 ± 79 ng/ml; severe sepsis = 359 ± 54 ng/ml; septic shock = 371 ± 53 ng/ml; P = 0.44). Furthermore, survivors of sepsis had a significantly higher CD4+ lymphocyte ATP content at the time of ICU admission than did nonsurvivors of sepsis (431 ± 41 ng/mL vs. 266 ± 53 ng/mL, respectively; P = 0.04).Conclusions: The sepsis classification system that is currently used is not representative of the individual immune status as determined by measuring the CD4+ lymphocyte ATP content. Moreover, a lower CD4+ ATP content at the time of ICU admission is associated with a worse clinical outcome in those suffering from sepsis.