Background: It has been reported that serum KL-6 increases in babies with progressing chronic lung disease (CLD). However, there have been few reports assessing KL-6 in meconium aspiration syndrome (MAS). KL-6 was measured in neonates with respiratory diseases including MAS.
Methods: Thirty-eight neonates with respiratory disease were enrolled in the study. These patients were classified into three groups, 14 patients with respiratory distress syndrome (RDS), 14 with MAS, and 10 with transient tachypnea of the newborn (TTN). The control group consisted of 12 healthy neonates. KL-6 levels were measured 1 day (median) after the birth. In the RDS group, measurement was repeated just prior to 36 weeks' postmenstrual age.
Results: The levels of KL-6 were 116 +/- 40 U/mL in the RDS, 281 +/- 138 U/mL in the MAS, and 106 +/- 41 U/mL in the TTN groups. KL-6 levels were significantly higher in the MAS group than in the control group (134 +/- 71 U/mL; P < 0.01). In addition, the levels were significantly higher in those with severe MAS than those with mild MAS (P < 0.05). In patients with RDS, KL-6 increased in patients who developed CLD (P < 0.05), while KL-6 levels did not change in those who did not develop CLD.
Conclusion: These data confirm the high level of KL-6 in CLD, and suggest that KL-6 is increased in MAS.