Objective To investigate the predictive value of serum neopterin for multiple organ dysfunction syndrome (MODS) in severe burn patients. Methods Seventy-six severe burn patients with burns covering a total body surface area (TBSA) above 70% were included in this study. Of the 76 patients, 29 cases developed MODS (MODS group) and the remaining 47 subjects did not (non-MODS group). From the MODS group, 12 patients died (Death group) and 17 patients survived (Survive group). The serum level of neopterin in the MODS and non-MODS groups were examined by radioimmunoassay on following 1, 3 , 7 , 14 , 21 and 28 post-burn days (PBDs). A receiver operating characteristic (ROC) curve was used to analyse the predictive value of serum neopterin for MODS and death. Results The serum neopterin level in the MODS group was significantly higher than that of non-MODS group between 3~28 PBDs (p0.05). The best diagnostic performance of serum neopterin for MODS occurred 14 PBDs with the prediction sensitivity and specificity of 75.86% (56.46%~89.70%) and 85.11% (71.69%~93.80%) respectively. However, serum neopterin levels had no clinical value in predicting the death of MODS patients. The area under the ROC curve (AUC) was 0.72 (0.58~0.85), 0.81 (0.71~0.92) and 0.83 (0.72~0.94) for serum neopterin as biomarker in the prediction of MODS after 3, 7 and 14 PBDs, respectively. The AUCs were 0.50 (0.27~0.73), 0.53 (0.30~0.76) and 0.56 (0.33~0.79) for serum neopterin as biomarker in prediction of death for MODS patients after 3, 7 and 14 PBDs, respectively. Conclusion The persistent and significant increase of serum neopterin level is closely related to the development of MODS in patients with severe burns. Serum neopterin is therefore a promising serological marker for MODS early diagnosis, but has little efficacy in the prediction of the likelihood of death in severe burn patients with MODS.