Background: With the development of new techniques to easily obtain lower respiratory tract specimens, bronchoalveolar lavage fluid and other lung fluids are gaining importance in pulmonary disease diagnosis. We aimed to review and summarize lung fluid biomarkers associated with acute respiratory distress syndrome diagnosis and mortality.
Methods: After searching PubMed, Embase, Web of Science, and the Cochrane Library for articles published prior to January 11, 2018, we performed a meta-analysis on biomarkers for acute respiratory distress syndrome diagnosis in at-risk patients and those related to disease mortality. From the included studies, we then extracted the mean and standard deviation of the biomarker concentrations measured in the lung fluid, acute respiratory distress syndrome etiologies, sample size, demographic variables, diagnostic criteria, mortality, and protocol for obtaining the lung fluid. The effect size was measured by the ratio of means, which was then synthesized by the inverse-variance method using its natural logarithm form and transformed to obtain a pooled ratio and 95% confidence interval.
Results: In total, 1156 articles were identified, and 49 studies were included. Increases in total phospholipases A2 activity, total protein, albumin, plasminogen activator inhibitor-1, soluble receptor for advanced glycation end products, and platelet activating factor-acetyl choline were most strongly associated with acute respiratory distress syndrome diagnosis. As for biomarkers associated with acute respiratory distress syndrome mortality, interleukin-1β, interleukin-6, interleukin-8, Kerbs von Lungren-6, and plasminogen activator inhibitor-1 were significantly increased in the lung fluid of patients who died. Decreased levels of Club cell protein and matrix metalloproteinases-9 were associated with increased odds for acute respiratory distress syndrome diagnosis, whereas decreased levels of Club cell protein and interleukin-2 were associated with increased odds for acute respiratory distress syndrome mortality.
Conclusions: This meta-analysis provides a ranking system for lung fluid biomarkers, according to their association with diagnosis or mortality of acute respiratory distress syndrome. The performance of biomarkers among studies shown in this article may help to improve acute respiratory distress syndrome diagnosis and outcome prediction.
Keywords: Acute lung injury; Adult; Biomarkers; Bronchoalveolar lavage fluid; Diagnosis; Mortality; Respiratory distress syndrome.