Background: Veno-arterial extracorporeal membrane oxygenation (VA-ECMO) is used for critically ill patients requiring hemodynamic support but has been shown to induce an inflammatory response syndrome potentially leading to severe complications and poor outcome. Monocytes are comprised of different subsets and play a central role in the innate immune system. The unique small binding proteins, Designed Ankyrin Repeat Protein "F7" and single chain variable fragment "MAN-1," specifically detect the activated conformation of the leukocyte integrin Mac-1 enabling the highly sensitive detection of monocyte activation status. The aim of this study was to characterize monocyte function and heterogeneity and their association with outcome in VA-ECMO patients. Methods: VA-ECMO patients were recruited from the ICUs of the University Hospital in Freiburg, Germany. Blood was sampled on day 0 and day 3 after VA-ECMO placement, after VA-ECMO explantation and from healthy controls. Monocyte subset distribution, baseline activation and stimulability were analyzed by flow cytometry using the unique small binding proteins F7 and MAN-1 and the conventional activation markers CD163, CD86, CD69, and CX3CR1. Furthermore, expression of monocyte activation markers in survivors and non-survivors on day 0 was compared. Simple logistic regression was conducted to determine the association of monocyte activation markers with mortality. Results: Twenty two patients on VA-ECMO and 15 healthy controls were recruited. Eleven patients survived until discharge from the ICU. Compared to controls, baseline monocyte activation was significantly increased, whereas stimulability was decreased. The percentage of classical monocytes increased after explantation, while the percentage of intermediate monocytes decreased. Total, classical, and intermediate monocyte counts were significantly elevated compared to controls. On day 0, baseline binding of F7 was significantly lower in non-survivors than survivors. The area under the ROC curve associated with mortality on day 0 was 0.802 (p = 0.02). Conclusions: Distribution of monocyte subsets changes during VA-ECMO and absolute classical and intermediate monocyte counts are significantly elevated compared to controls. Monocytes from VA-ECMO patients showed signs of dysfunction. Monocyte dysfunction, as determined by the unique tool F7, could be valuable for predicting mortality in patients receiving VA-ECMO and may be used as a novel biomarker guiding early clinical decision making in the future.
Keywords: DARPin®; Mac-1; activation; extracorporeal membrane oxygenation; inflammation; monocyte.
Copyright © 2021 Siegel, Orlean, Bojti, Kaier, Witsch, Esser, Trummer, Moser, Peter, Bode and Diehl.