Our goal was to investigate the role of soluble thrombomodulin (TM) and neutrophil elastase in patients with trauma.
This study is a prospective case-control study.
Materials and Methods
Forty-seven trauma victims, 14 with disseminated intravascular coagulation (DIC), 5 with multiple organ dysfunction syndrome (MODS), and 28 control patients without DIC or MODS were the participants. Soluble TM and neutrophil elastase (elastase-alphasub 1 -proteinase inhibitor complex) were measured on the day of the injury, and on the first, third, and fifth days after admission. The results of these measurements and demographic data were compared among the groups, and correlations between the soluble TM and the neutrophil elastase were examined. The DIC patients were classified into subgroups of survivors (n = 5) and nonsurvivors (n = 9), and the changes of the soluble TM between the subgroups were then studied.
Measurements and Main Results
A high incidence of DIC patients encountered MODS complications (12 of 14, 86%). The DIC patients had higher Injury Severity Scores (ISSs) than the other patients. The levels of soluble TM and neutrophil elastase significantly increased on the day of admission in the patients with DIC and also in those with MODS (p < 0.05 vs. control patients) and continued to show markedly high values until the fifth day of admission in the patients with DIC. In the DIC patients, the levels of soluble TM were higher in the nonsurvivors than in the survivors (p < 0.05 on the third and the fifth days of admission). In all patients, there was weak but statistically significant correlation between peak levels of soluble TM and ISS (r2 = 0.125, p < 0.025). Comparison of the levels of soluble TM and neutrophil elastase in the patients with DIC or MODS demonstrated an excellent correlation (r2 = 0.718 and r2 = 0.714, respectively).
Soluble TM as a novel endothelial cell injury marker increases in patients with DIC and also in those with MODS after trauma. Neutrophil elastase may be involved in the pathogenesis of the injury. Soluble TM is a marker of the severity of injury and is a good predictor of MODS.