Soluble Suppression of Tumorigenicity-2 Associates With Ventilator Dependence in Coronavirus Disease 2019 Respiratory Failure

Crit Care Explor. 2021 Jun 29;3(7):e0480. doi: 10.1097/CCE.0000000000000480. eCollection 2021 Jul.


Objectives: We hypothesize that elevated soluble suppression of tumorigenicity-2 concentrations, a marker of pulmonary epithelial injury, reflect ongoing lung injury in acute hypoxemic respiratory failure due to coronavirus disease 2019 and associate with continued ventilator dependence.

Design: We associated serial plasma soluble suppression of tumorigenicity-2 levels and markers of systemic inflammation including d-dimer, C-reactive protein, and erythrocyte sedimentation rate with 30-day mortality and ventilator dependence.

Setting: Adult medical ICUs and general medicine wards at an academic teaching hospital in Boston, MA.

Patients: Adult patients with severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 infection and acute hypoxemic respiratory failure admitted to the ICU (n = 72) and non-ICU patients managed with supplemental oxygen (n = 77).

Interventions: Observational study from April 25 to June 25, 2020.

Measurements and main results: ICU patients had a higher baseline body mass index and median soluble suppression of tumorigenicity-2, d-dimer, and C-reactive protein concentrations compared with non-ICU patients. Among ICU patients, elevated baseline modified Sequential Organ Failure Assessment score and log (soluble suppression of tumorigenicity-2) were associated with 30-day mortality, whereas initial Pao2/Fio2 and markers of systemic inflammation were similar between groups. Only log (soluble suppression of tumorigenicity-2) associated with ventilator dependence over time, with the last measured log (soluble suppression of tumorigenicity-2) concentration obtained on ICU day 11.5 (interquartile range [7-17]) higher in patients who required reintubation or tracheostomy placement compared with patients who were successfully extubated (2.10 [1.89-2.26] vs 1.87 ng/mL [1.72-2.13 ng/mL]; p = 0.03). Last measured systemic inflammatory markers, modified Sequential Organ Failure Assessment score, and Pao2/Fio2 were not different between patients who were successfully extubated compared with those with continued ventilator dependence.

Conclusions: Plasma soluble suppression of tumorigenicity-2 is a biomarker readily measured in blood that can provide dynamic information about the degree of a patient's lung injury and real-time assessment of the likelihood of extubation success. Measures of systemic inflammation, illness severity, and oxygenation did not associate with ventilator outcomes.

Keywords: acute respiratory distress syndrome; biomarkers; coronavirus disease 2019 virus disease; ventilator weaning.