Soluble thrombomodulin plasma levels are an early indication of a lethal course in human acute pancreatitis


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Abstract

Background.The potential to predict severe disease and lethality by using plasma soluble thrombomodulin (sTM) and C-reactive protein (CRP) levels in 73 patients with acute pancreatitis was analyzed in a prospective 5-year investigation performed at a single institution.Methods.According to the Atlanta criteria, pancreatitis was classified as mild in 23 patients and as severe in 50 patients. Blood was collected on days 1, 3, 5, 7, 10, 14, 21, and 28 after the onset of pain and analyzed for sTM and CRP.Results.During the period between days 3 and 10 of acute pancreatitis when most of the admissions occurred, sTM levels at a cutoff of 75 ng/mL on day 3 (sensitivity, 100%; specificity, 77%; positive predictive value, 38%; negative predictive value, 100%) and 71 ng/mL on day 10 (sensitivity, 100%; specificity, 77%; positive predictive value, 41%; negative predictive value, 100%) were predictive of a lethal outcome. With sTM levels, it was not possible to differentiate patients with mild pancreatitis from those with severe pancreatitis (Atlanta classification). In contrast, CRP levels at a cutoff of 113 mg/L on day 3 differentiated severe from mild courses with a diagnostic sensitivity of 84%, a specificity of 60%, a positive predictive value of 78%, and a negative predictive value of 69%. CRP levels at a cutoff of 122 mg/L on day 10 differentiated mild from severe courses (nonsurvivors) with a diagnostic sensitivity of 72%, a specificity of 72%, a positive predictive value of 86%, and a negative predictive value of 53%. In contrast, differentiation of mild forms of acute pancreatitis from severe pancreatitis (survivors) on day 10 was not possible.Conclusions.CRP is a valuable marker of disease severity in acute pancreatitis especially in the first period of pancreatitis, whereas sTM identifies early those patients with the most severe courses and a high risk of dying (negative predictive value, 100%). Determination of sTM in addition to CRP offers the opportunity of identifying early those patients who require intensive care most urgently. Of course, further investigations of sTM in acute pancreatitis are indicated to confirm our results. (Surgery 2002;131:424-32.)

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