Table of Contents Author Guidelines Submit a Manuscript
Mediators of Inflammation
Volume 2012, Article ID 536156, 8 pages
Clinical Study

Circulating Leukotriene B4 Identifies Respiratory Complications after Trauma

Department of Trauma, Hand and Reconstructive Surgery, Hospital of the Goethe University Frankfurt am Main, 60590 Frankfurt, Germany

Received 22 August 2011; Accepted 9 December 2011

Academic Editor: Michael Frink

Copyright © 2012 Birgit Auner et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Background. Leukotriene B4 (LTB4), a proinflammatory lipid mediator correlates well with the acute phase of Acute Respiratory Distress Syndrome (ARDS). Therefore, LTB4-levels were investigated to determine whether they might be a useful clinical marker in predicting pulmonary complications (PC) in multiply traumatized patients. Methods: Plasma levels of LTB4 were determined in 100 patients on admission (ED) and for five consecutive days (daily). Twenty healthy volunteers served as control. LTB4-levels were measured by ELISA. Thirty patients developed PC (pneumonia, respiratory failure, acute lung injury (ALI), ARDS, pulmonary embolism) and 70 had no PC (ØPC). Results. LTB4-levels in the PC-group [127.8 pg/mL, IQR: 104–200pg/ml] were significantly higher compared to the ØPC-group on admission [95.6 pg/mL, IQR: 55–143 pg/mL] or control-group [58.4 pg/mL, IQR: 36–108 pg/mL]. LTB4 continuously declined to basal levels from day 1 to 5 without differences between the groups. The cutoff to predict PC was calculated at 109.6 pg/mL (72% specificity, 67% sensitivity). LTB4 was not influenced by overall or chest injury severity, age, gender or massive transfusion. Patients with PC received mechanical ventilation for a significantly longer period of time, and had prolonged intensive care unit and overall hospital stay. Conclusion. High LTB4-levels indicate risk for PC development in multiply traumatized patients.