Introduction: Clara cell protein 10 (CC-10) has been associated with inflammatory and infectious pulmonary diseases. This study evaluates CC-10 concentrations in bronchoalveolar lavage (BAL) fluid as a potential marker of ventilator-associated pneumonia (VAP).
Methods: Between January 2003 and December 2007, BAL fluid samples obtained from critically ill patients at the intensive care unit of the Maastricht University Medical Centre clinically suspected of having VAP were included. Patients were divided into two groups: (1) microbiologically confirmed VAP (the VAP group) and (2) microbiologically unconfirmed VAP (the non-VAP group). The concentration of CC-10 was measured by means of a commercially available enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay kit, and retrospective analysis was performed. Areas under the curve of receiver operating characteristic curves were calculated for CC-10 concentrations.
Results: A total of 196 patients (122 men, 74 women) were included. A total of 79 (40%) of 196 cases of suspected VAP were microbiologically confirmed. The median CC-10 concentration in the VAP group was 3,019 ng/mL (range, 282 to 65,546 ng/mL) versus 2,504 ng/mL (range, 62 to 30,240 ng/mL) in the non-VAP group (P = 0.03). There was no significant difference in CC-10 concentrations between patients treated with or without corticosteroids (P = 0.26) or antibiotic therapy (P = 0.9). The CC-10 concentration did not differ significantly between patients with Gram-positive versus Gram-negative bacteria that caused the VAP (P = 0.06). However, CC-10 concentrations did differ significantly between the late-onset VAP group and the non-VAP group.
Conclusions: The CC-10 concentration in BAL fluid yielded low diagnostic accuracy in confirming the presence of VAP.