Tracheobronchial protease inhibitors, body surface area burns, and mortality in smoke inhalation

Margaret Kurzius-Spencer, Kevin Foster, Sally Littau, Karen J. Richey, Beth M. Clark, Duane Sherrill, Scott Boitano, Daniel M. Caruso, Jefferey L. Burgess

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Scopus citations


The objective of this study was to assess tracheobronchial protease inhibitor concentrations longitudinally and determine whether initial concentrations predict subsequent lung injury and mortality in intubated burn victims. Tracheobronchial suction fluid was collected every 2 hours for 36 hours. Alpha-1-antitrypsin (AAT), secretory leukocyte peptidase inhibitor (SLPI), alpha-2-macroglobulin (A2M), and cell and differential counts were assayed. Partial pressure of oxygen in arterial blood/fraction of inspired oxygen (PaO2/FIO2) and peak airway pressure (PAP) were recorded for 72 hours. Standard statistics were used to evaluate cross-sectional relationships; random coefficient (mixed) models were used to evaluate temporal trends in marker concentrations and relation to clinical outcomes. Among 29 patients, 24 (83%) developed hypoxemia (PaO2/FIO2 <200); six died within 2 weeks. When adjusted for gender, age, %TBSA burn, and positive end-expiratory pressure setting, A2M (P ≤ .007) and neutrophils (P ≤ .032) increased linearly during 36 hours, and SLPI decreased (P ≤ .038). Initial SLPI concentration was a negative predictor of maximum PAP (P ≤ .009). None of the markers predicted longitudinal change in PaO2/FIO2. Mean levels of AAT and A2M in initial samples were significantly lower in patients with >35% TBSA burn (P ≤ .010 and .033, respectively), when compared with patients with less severe burns. However, patients with increased A2M in combination with >35% TBSA burn had a 6-fold (95% CI: 1.8ĝ€"20) increased relative risk of death. Tracheobronchial AAT and A2M levels were significantly lower in patients with more severe burns and increased over time. Initial SLPI levels predicted subsequent PAP. Increased early A2M in combination with extensive burn predicted early mortality.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)824-831
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Burn Care and Research
Issue number5
StatePublished - Sep 2009

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Medicine


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