Increased serum concentrations of soluble ST2 predict mortality after burn injury

Clin Chem Lab Med. 2018 Nov 27;56(12):2079-2087. doi: 10.1515/cclm-2018-0042.


Background: Large burn injuries induce a systemic response in affected patients. Soluble ST2 (sST2) acts as a decoy receptor for interleukin-33 (IL-33) and has immunosuppressive effects. sST2 has been described previously as a prognostic serum marker. Our aim was to evaluate serum concentrations of sST2 and IL-33 after thermal injury and elucidate whether sST2 is associated with mortality in these patients.

Methods: We included 32 burn patients (total body surface area [TBSA] >10%) admitted to our burn intensive care unit and compared them to eight healthy probands. Serum concentrations of sST2 and IL-33 were measured serially using an enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA) technique.

Results: The mean TBSA was 32.5%±19.6%. Six patients (18.8%) died during the hospital stay. Serum analyses showed significantly increased concentrations of sST2 and reduced concentrations of IL-33 in burn patients compared to healthy controls. In our study cohort, higher serum concentrations of sST2 were a strong independent predictor of mortality.

Conclusions: Burn injuries cause an increment of sST2 serum concentrations with a concomitant reduction of IL-33. Higher concentrations of sST2 are associated with increased in-hospital mortality in burn patients.

Keywords: ST2; burn injury; burn trauma; interleukin-33; mortality; sST2.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Biomarkers / blood
  • Burns / blood*
  • Enzyme-Linked Immunosorbent Assay
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Interleukin-1 Receptor-Like 1 Protein / blood*
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Solubility
  • Survival Analysis


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