Recombinant human activated protein C improves pulmonary function in ovine acute lung injury resulting from smoke inhalation and sepsis

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Abstract

Objective:

To investigate the effects of recombinant human activated protein C (rhAPC) on pulmonary function in acute lung injury (ALI) resulting from smoke inhalation in association with a bacterial challenge.

Design:

Prospective, randomized, controlled, experimental animal study with repeated measurements.

Setting:

Investigational intensive care unit at a university hospital.

Subjects:

Eighteen sheep (37.2 ± 1.0 kg) were operatively prepared and randomly allocated to either the sham, control, or rhAPC group (n = 6 each). After a tracheotomy had been performed, ALI was produced in the control and rhAPC group by insufflation of 4 sets of 12 breaths of cotton smoke. Then, a 30 mL suspension of live Pseudomonas aeruginosa bacteria (containing 2–5 × 1011 colony forming units) was instilled into the lungs according to an established protocol. The sham group received only the vehicle, i.e., 4 sets of 12 breaths of room air and instillation of 30 mL normal saline. The sheep were studied in the awake state for 24 hrs and were ventilated with 100% oxygen. RhAPC (24 μg/kg/hr) was intravenously administered. The infusion was initiated 1 hr post-injury and lasted until the end of the experiment. The animals were resuscitated with Ringer's lactate solution to maintain constant pulmonary artery occlusion pressure.

Measurements and Main Results:

In comparison with nontreatment in controls, the infusion of rhAPC significantly attenuated the fall in Pao2/Fio2 ratio (control group values were 521 ± 22 at baseline [BL], 72 ± 5 at 12 hrs, and 74 ± 7 at 24 hrs, vs. rhAPC group values of 541 ± 12 at BL, 151 ± 29 at 12 hours [p < .05 vs. control], and 118 ± 20 at 24 hrs), and significantly reduced the increase in pulmonary microvascular shunt fraction (Qs/Qt; control group at BL, 0.14 ± 0.02, and at 24 hrs, 0.65 ± 0.08; rhAPC group at BL, 0.24 ± 0.04, and at 24 hrs, 0.45 ± 0.02 [p < .05 vs. control]) and the increase in peak airway pressure (mbar; control group at BL, 20 ± 1, and at 24 hrs, 36 ± 4; rhAPC group at BL, 21 ± 1, and at 24 hrs, 28 ± 2 [p < .05 vs. control]). In addition, rhAPC limited the increase in lung 3-nitrotyrosine (after 24 hrs [%]: sham, 7 ± 2; control, 17 ± 1; rhAPC, 12 ± 1 [p < .05 vs. control]), a reliable indicator of tissue injury. However, rhAPC failed to prevent lung edema formation. RhAPC-treated sheep showed no difference in activated clotting time or platelet count but exhibited less fibrin degradation products (1/6 animals) than did controls (4/6 animals).

Conclusions:

Recombinant human activated protein C attenuated ALI after smoke inhalation and bacterial challenge in sheep, without bleeding complications.

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