Background: Inhalation of thermal and chemical products of combustion evokes an immune response measurable at a systemic level. Inhalation injury related kinetics of currently available inflammatory biomarkers and novel Pancreatic Stone Protein (PSP) as well as their interference with septic events has not been addressed to literature yet.
Methods: Analysis of the influence of inhalation injury and ARDS on biomarker kinetics (PSP, procalcitonin (PCT), C-reactive Protein (CRP), white blood cells (WBC)) in 90 patients admitted to Zurich Burn Center between May 2015 and October 2018 with burns ≥15% total body surface area (TBSA) over 14 days.
Results: Twenty-five (27%) of 90 included patients presented with inhalation injury (median age 52 years [IQR 27], median TBSA 31.5% [IQR 21], mean ABSI-Score 7±3). At admission, only WBC demonstrated significantly higher values in the inhalation injury group (p=0.011). Acute respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS) was present in 32% without association to the severity of inhalation injury (p=0.11). WBC, CRP and PCT failed to delineate inhalation injury related inflammation from septic progression at most time points. PSP was the strongest marker to identify septic patients both by its higher values and steeper increase over time (p<0.001).
Conclusion: Inhalation injury leads to an inflammatory response at a systemic level with alterations of biomarkers. While routine inflammatory markers demonstrated strong interferences between inhalation injury with its associated ARDS and evolving sepsis, PSP reliably identified septic patients in a setting of inflammatory turbulences secondary to inhalation injury.
Keywords: ARDS; Inflammatory biomarkers; Inhalation injury; PSP; Pancreatic Stone Protein.
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