Introduction: Interleukin-8 (IL-8) is regarded as one of the most important mediators in the pathogenesis of Adult Respiratory Distress Syndrome (ARDS). However, knowledge regarding the influence of genetic variations within the IL-8 gene either on the development of ARDS or on IL-8 production in the traumatic setting is sparse.
Patients and methods: In this prospective cohort study, patients were included if the following criteria were fulfilled: Injury Severity Score (ISS) >16, age 18-60 years and a survival >48 h after injury. Systemic IL-8 concentrations and the polymorphisms (IL-8-251A/T) were determined. Patients were separated according to the development of ARDS (group +ARDS vs. group -ARDS) and the genotypes of the IL-8-251A/T polymorphism (genotypes A/A, A/T and T/T).
Results: Group +ARDS demonstrated significantly higher IL-8 plasma concentrations from day 3 until the end of the observation period compared to group -ARDS. In addition, duration of mechanical ventilation and length of stay in the ICU were significantly longer in this group. Furthermore, a significant association between the IL-8-251A allele and IL-8 production (day 4-8) was observed. Genotype A/A showed a significantly longer duration of mechanical ventilation compared to genotype T/T. A trend towards an association between the IL-8-251A allele and an increased incidence of posttraumatic ARDS was observed (p=0.08).
Conclusion: This data reaffirms a central role of IL-8 in the pathogenesis of ARDS. Furthermore, it points towards a genetic predisposition for posttraumatic IL-8 synthesis which might also be associated with the development of posttraumatic ARDS.