BACKGROUND: Trauma and its complications contribute to morbidity and mortality in the general population. Trauma victims are susceptible to acute respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS) and sepsis. Polymorphonuclear leucocytes (PMNs) are activated after trauma and there is substantial evidence of their involvement in the development of ARDS. Activated PMNs release heparin-binding protein (HBP), a granule protein previously shown to be involved in acute inflammatory reactions. We hypothesised that there is an increase in plasma HBP content after trauma and that the increased levels are related to the severity of the trauma or later development of severe sepsis and organ failure (ARDS).
METHODS AND MATERIAL: We investigated HBP in plasma samples within 36 h from trauma in 47 patients admitted to a level one trauma centre with a mean injury severity score (ISS) of 26 (21-34). ISS, admission sequential organ failure assessment (SOFA) and Acute Physiology and Chronic Health Evaluation (APACHE) II scores were recorded at admission. ARDS and presence of severe sepsis were determined daily during intensive care.
RESULTS: We found no correlation between individual maximal plasma HBP levels at admission and ISS, admission SOFA or APACHE II. We found, however, a correlation between HBP levels and development of ARDS (P = 0.026, n = 47), but not to severe sepsis.
CONCLUSION: HBP is a potential biomarker candidate for early detection of ARDS development after trauma. Further research is required to confirm a casual relationship between plasma HBP and the development of ARDS.
2013. Vol. 57, no 5