Recombinant human activated protein C in the treatment of acute respiratory distress syndrome: a randomized clinical trial

PLoS One. 2014 Mar 14;9(3):e90983. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0090983. eCollection 2014.

Abstract

Rationale: Pulmonary coagulopathy may play a pathogenetic role in acute respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS), by contributing to alveolocapillary inflammation and increased permeability. Recombinant human activated protein C (rh-APC) may inhibit this process and thereby improve patient outcome.

Methods: A prospective randomized, saline-controlled, single-blinded clinical trial was performed in the intensive care units of two university hospitals, and patients with ARDS were included within 24 h after meeting inclusion criteria.

Intervention: A 4-day course of intravenous rh-APC (24 mcg/kg/h) (n = 33) versus saline (n = 38).

Outcomes: The primary outcome parameter was the pulmonary leak index (PLI) of 67Gallium-transferrin as a measure of alveolocapillary permeability and secondary outcomes were disease severity scores and ventilator-free days, among others.

Results: Baseline characteristics were similar; in 87% of patients the PLI was above normal and in 90% mechanical or non-invasive ventilation was instituted at a median lung injury score of 2.5. There was no evidence that Rh-APC treatment affected the PLI or attenuated lung injury and sequential organ failure assessment scores. Mean ventilator-free days amounted to 14 (rh-APC) and 12 days (saline, P = 0.35). 28-day mortality was 6% in rh-APC- and 18% in saline-treated patients (P = 0.12). There was no difference in bleeding events. The study was prematurely discontinued because rh-APC was withdrawn from the market.

Conclusion: There is no evidence that treatment with intravenous rh-APC during 4 days for infectious or inflammatory ARDS ameliorates increased alveolocapillary permeability or the clinical course of ARDS patients. We cannot exclude underpowering.

Trial registration: Nederlands Trial Register ISRCTN 52566874.

Publication types

  • Randomized Controlled Trial
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Protein C / therapeutic use*
  • Recombinant Proteins / therapeutic use
  • Respiratory Distress Syndrome / drug therapy*

Substances

  • Protein C
  • Recombinant Proteins
  • drotrecogin alfa activated

Associated data

  • ISRCTN/ISRCTN52566874

Grant support

This trial has been supported via an unrestricted research grant from Eli Lilly Inc. (Indianapolis, IN, USA). The funders had no role in study design, data collection and analysis, decision to publish, or preparation of the manuscript.