Serum plasminogen activator urokinase receptor predicts elevated risk of acute respiratory distress syndrome in patients with sepsis and is positively associated with disease severity, inflammation and mortality

Exp Ther Med. 2019 Oct;18(4):2984-2992. doi: 10.3892/etm.2019.7931. Epub 2019 Aug 20.


The present study aimed to evaluate the predictive value of serum soluble urokinase plasminogen activator receptor (suPAR) regarding the risk of acute respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS) in sepsis patients, and investigate its correlation/association with disease severity, inflammation and mortality in sepsis patients with ARDS. A total of 57 sepsis patients with ARDS and 58 sepsis patients without ARDS were recruited for the present case-control study. Laboratory tests, acute physiology and chronic health evaluation (APACHE) II score and sequential organ failure assessment (SOFA) score were evaluated, and mortality during hospitalization was recorded. Blood samples were collected and serum suPAR was detected by ELISA. Furthermore, tumor necrosis factor (TNF)-α, interleukin (IL)-1β, IL-6, IL-8, IL-10 and IL-17, as well as C-reactive protein (CRP) were detected. The results indicated that the serum levels of suPAR in sepsis patients with ARDS were higher than those in sepsis patients without ARDS. Receiver operating characteristics (ROC) curve analysis indicated that it was possible to distinguish sepsis patients with ARDS from sepsis patients without ARDS based on their serum suPAR levels, and multivariate logistic regression analysis suggested that serum suPAR levels were an independent predictor of the risk of ARDS in sepsis patients. In sepsis patients with ARDS, serum suPAR levels were positively correlated with the APACHE II score, SOFA score and the levels of CRP, TNF-α, IL-1β and IL-8. In addition, serum suPAR levels were lower in survivors compared with those in non-survivors, and ROC curve analysis suggested that serum suPAR was able to predict the probability of mortality. In conclusion, serum suPAR independently predicted an elevated risk of ARDS in patients with sepsis, and was correlated/associated with greater disease severity, higher inflammation and increased mortality in patients with sepsis and ARDS.

Keywords: acute respiratory distress syndrome; disease severity; mortality; sepsis; soluble urokinase plasminogen activator receptor.