Early Intravascular Events Are Associated with Development of Acute Respiratory Distress Syndrome. A Substudy of the LIPS-A Clinical Trial

Raja-Elie E Abdulnour, Tina Gunderson, Ioanna Barkas, Jack Y Timmons, Cindy Barnig, Michelle Gong, Daryl J Kor, Ognjen Gajic, Daniel Talmor, Rickey E Carter, Bruce D Levy
American Journal of Respiratory and Critical Care Medicine 2018 June 15, 197 (12): 1575-1585

RATIONALE: Acute respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS) is a devastating illness with limited therapeutic options. A better understanding of early biochemical and immunological events in ARDS could inform the development of new preventive and treatment strategies.

OBJECTIVES: To determine select peripheral blood lipid mediator and leukocyte responses in patients at risk for ARDS.

METHODS: Patients at risk for ARDS were randomized as part of a multicenter, double-blind clinical trial of aspirin versus placebo (the LIPS-A [Lung Injury Prevention Study with Aspirin] trial; NCT01504867). Plasma thromboxane B2 (TXB2 ), aspirin-triggered lipoxin A4 (15-epi-LXA4 , ATL), and peripheral blood leukocyte number and activation were determined on enrollment and after treatment with either aspirin or placebo.

MEASUREMENTS AND MAIN RESULTS: Thirty-three of 367 subjects (9.0%) developed ARDS after randomization. Baseline ATL levels, total monocyte counts, intermediate monocyte counts, and monocyte-platelet aggregates were associated with the development of ARDS. Peripheral blood neutrophil count and monocyte-platelet aggregates significantly decreased over time. Of note, nine subjects developed ARDS after randomization yet before study drug initiation, including seven subjects assigned to aspirin treatment. Subjects without ARDS at the time of first dose demonstrated a lower incidence of ARDS with aspirin treatment. Compared with placebo, aspirin significantly decreased TXB2 and increased the ATL/TXB2 ratio.

CONCLUSIONS: Biomarkers of intravascular monocyte activation in at-risk patients were associated with development of ARDS. The potential clinical benefit of early aspirin for prevention of ARDS remains uncertain. Together, results of the biochemical and immunological analyses provide a window into the early pathogenesis of human ARDS and represent potential vascular biomarkers of ARDS risk. Clinical trial registered with (NCT01504867).

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