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Am J Respir Crit Care Med. 1996 May;153(5):1585-90.

Immunoglobulin A levels in bronchial samples during mechanical ventilation and onset of nosocomial pneumonia in critically ill patients.

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Service de Réanimation Médicale, Hôpital Raymond Poincaré, Garches, Université Paris V., France.


Local immunoglobulins play a key role in host defense against lung infection. We investigated the pattern of evolution of bronchial albumin, IgA, and IgG levels in ventilated ICU patients in relation to nosocomial pneumonia. Immunocompetent, critically ill patients underwent serial blood and bronchial protein determinations on Day 1 (intubation day), and on Days 3, 7, 10, and 14. The variations in proteins levels were compared with corresponding Day 1 values in the whole population, and between patients who developed lung infections (Group A) and the remaining population (Group B). Forty-four patients were included into the study. In the whole population, when compared with the baseline value, bronchial IgA/albumin ratio increased significantly (Day 3, +58%, p = 0.04); Day 14, +171%, p < 0.01), but serum IgA/albumin and serum and bronchial IgG/albumin ratios did not change significantly. In Group A, the increase in the IgA/albumin ratio was less than in Group B (Day 3, +15% versus +87%, p = 0.04; Day 14, +29% versus +210%, p < 0.01). No significant differences were observed between the two groups for bronchial and plasma albumin and IgG levels and for bronchial polymorphonuclear elastase levels. Bronchial IgA production was enhanced in ventilated patients. A reduction in this enhanced bronchial IgA production might account for the development of nosocomial pneumonia.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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