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Crit Care Med. 2007 Mar;35(3):893-8.

Inhibitor kappaB-alpha haplotype GTC is associated with susceptibility to acute respiratory distress syndrome in Caucasians.

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  • 1Department of Environmental Health, Harvard School of Public Health, Boston, MA, USA.



The nuclear factor (NF)-kappaB regulates inflammatory responses and plays important roles in the pathogenesis of acute respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS). Inhibitor kappaB-alpha (NFKBIA) inhibits NF-kappaB and controls its activities. The objective was to determine whether polymorphisms in NFKBIA gene would be associated with ARDS development.


Prospective cohort of adults with clinical risk factors for ARDS.


Hospital system.


Patients were 1,210 critically ill Caucasian patients meeting study criteria for a defined risk factor for ARDS who were enrolled and prospectively followed for 60 days; 382 had ARDS, and 828 were controls.


Genetic polymorphisms in the NFKBIA promoter (-881A/G, -826C/T, -297C/T) were determined using TaqMan techniques.


The three polymorphisms were in Hardy-Weinberg equilibrium. No individual genotype was significantly associated with ARDS development. In contrast, haplotypes of NFKBIA were globally associated with ARDS development (p = .02, degree of freedom = 2). The frequency of haplotype GTC (-881G/-826T/-297C) was significantly higher among ARDS patients (7.4%) than that among controls (5.2%) (p = .03). Crude analysis showed that the haplotype GTC was significantly associated with higher risks of ARDS in the whole cohort compared with the common haplotype ACC (-881A/-826C/-297C) (odds ratio [OR], 1.47; 95% confidence interval [CI], 1.03-2.09; p = .03), especially among male subjects (OR, 1.90; 95% CI, 1.20-2.97; p < .01). After adjustment for covariates, the haplotype GTC remained significantly associated with increased risk of ARDS in the whole cohort (OR, 1.66; 95% CI, 1.09-2.53; p = .02), particularly among male patients (OR, 1.98; 95% CI, 1.16-3.40; p = .02) and among subjects with direct pulmonary injury (OR, 1.75; 95% CI, 1.04-2.95; p = .04).


The haplotype GTC of NFKBIA gene is associated with higher risk of ARDS in Caucasians, particularly in male patients and in patients with direct lung injury.

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