Outcome value of Clara cell protein in serum of patients with acute respiratory distress syndrome

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Injury to the alveolocapillary barrier characterizes ALI/ARDS; therefore determining levels of lung epithelium-specific small proteins in serum may help predict clinical outcomes. We examined whether serum Clara cell protein (CC-16) concentration is correlated with the outcome, mechanical ventilation duration, and incidence of nonpulmonary organ failure.


Prospective multicenter observational study conducted by the Quebec Critical Care Network.


Seventy-eight adult ARDS patients requiring mechanical ventilation were enrolled and 28-day mortality was the primary outcome. Ventilatory parameters were computed and blood was sampled daily. Clinical information collected included cause of death, duration of mechanical ventilation, number of ventilator-free days, and organ failures.


Median serum levels of CC-16 were significantly higher in nonsurvivors than survivors on days 0–2 (19.93 μg/l, IQR 11.8–44.32, vs. 8.9, 5.66–26.38) and sustained up to day 14. CC-16 levels were correlated positively with the number of failing organs (ρ = 0.3623) and requirement for prolonged mechanical ventilation. Predictors of patient mortality included age, arterial carbon dioxide partial pressure, CC-16, and APACHE II score (odds ratios 1.35, 1.52, 1.37, 1.159, respectively).


Higher initial CC-16 serum level is associated with increased risk of death, fewer ventilator-free days, and increased frequency of nonpulmonary multiple organ failure. CC-16 is a valuable biomarker of ARDS that may help predict outcome among ARDS patients with high-risk mortality.

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