Increased serum concentrations of soluble ST2 are associated with pulmonary complications and mortality in polytraumatized patients

Clin Chem Lab Med. 2018 Apr 25;56(5):810-817. doi: 10.1515/cclm-2017-0762.


Background: We sought to evaluate the role of soluble ST2 (suppression of tumorigenicity) serum concentrations in polytraumatized patients and its potential role as biomarker for pulmonary complications.

Methods: We included severely injured patients (injury severity score≥16) admitted to our level I trauma center and analyzed serum samples obtained on the day of admission and on day 2. Furthermore, patients with isolated thoracic injury and healthy probands were included and served as control groups. Serum samples were analyzed for soluble ST2 concentrations with a commercially available ELISA kit.

Results: A total of 130 patients were included in the present study. Five patients with isolated thoracic injury and eight healthy probands were further included. Serum analyses revealed significantly elevated concentrations of soluble ST2 in polytraumatized patients compared to patients suffering from isolated thoracic trauma and healthy probands. In polytraumatized patients who developed pulmonary complications (acute respiratory distress syndrome and pneumonia) and in patients who died, significantly higher serum concentrations of soluble ST2 were found on day 2 (p<0.001). Serum concentrations of soluble ST2 on day 2 were of prognostic value to predict pulmonary complications in polytraumatized patients (area under the curve=0.720, 95% confidence interval=0.623-0.816). Concomitant thoracic trauma had no further impact on serum concentrations of soluble ST2.

Conclusions: Serum concentrations of soluble ST2 are upregulated following polytrauma. Increased concentrations were associated with worse outcome.

Keywords: ARDS; ST2; pneumonia; polytrauma; pulmonary complications; thoracic injury.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Interleukin-1 Receptor-Like 1 Protein / blood*
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Multiple Trauma / blood
  • Multiple Trauma / complications*
  • Multiple Trauma / mortality*
  • Pneumonia / blood
  • Pneumonia / complications*
  • Pneumonia / mortality*
  • Respiratory Distress Syndrome / blood*
  • Respiratory Distress Syndrome / complications
  • Respiratory Distress Syndrome / mortality*
  • Severity of Illness Index
  • Solubility
  • Young Adult


  • IL1RL1 protein, human
  • Interleukin-1 Receptor-Like 1 Protein