Sequential production of leukaemia inhibitory factor by blood cell culture in patients with ARDS

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Leukaemia inhibitory factor (LIF) is a polyfunctional cytokine integrated in cytokine networks and its concentration has been shown to be elevated in bronchoalveolar lavage fluid of patients with the acute respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS). The aim of our study was to evaluate the production of LIF by culturing blood cells from patients with ARDS.


8 patients with ARDS, 8 patients with pneumonia and 5 healthy subjects.

Measurements and results:

The blood samples were taken on day 1 after onset of ARDS. LIF was measured, in the cell-free supernatant, with an enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay after 24 h, 48 h and 72 h of blood cell culture. LIF was detectable in some patients in the ARDS group: at i) at 24 h and 48 h: in 2 patients ii) at 72 h in 4/5 patients (140 ± 231 pg/ml). Only in the 4 patients in whom LIF was measured at 72 h was ARDS associated with the multiple organ dysfunction syndrome. Furthermore, among the 5 patients with ARDS who subsequently died, 4 had a detectable LIF.


We have observed that LIF was produced only in ARDS, but not in all patients. The production of LIF seems to be a good indicator of the severity of ARDS. These preliminary results must be confirmed by a larger study.

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