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Leff, Jonathan A.; Parsons, Polly E.; Day, Caroline E.; Taniguchi, Naoyuki; Jochum, Marianne; Fritz, Hans; Moore, Frederick A.; Moore, Eugene E.; McCord, Joe M.; Repine, John E. (1993): Serum antioxidants as predictors of the adult respiratory distress syndrome in septic patients. In: The Lancet, Vol. 341, No. 8848: pp. 777-780


Adult respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS) can develop as a complication of various disorders, including sepsis, but it has not been possible to identify which of the patients at risk will develop this serious disorder. We have investigated the ability of six markers, measured sequentially in blood, to predict development of ARDS in 26 patients with sepsis. At the initial diagnosis of sepsis (6-24 h before the development of ARDS), serum manganese superoxide dismutase concentration and catalase activity were higher in the 6 patients who subsequently developed ARDS than in 20 patients who did not develop ARDS. These changes in antioxidant enzymes predicted the development of ARDS in septic patients with the same sensitivity, specificity, and efficiency as simultaneous assessments of serum lactate dehydrogenase activity and factor VIII concentration. By contrast, serum glutathione peroxidase activity and α1Pi-elastase complex concentration did not differ at the initial diagnosis of sepsis between patients who did and did not subsequently develop ARDS, and were not as effective in predicting the development of ARDS. Measurement of manganese superoxide dismutase and catalase, in addition to the other markers, should facilitate identification of patients at highest risk of ARDS and allow prospective treatment.