Significance of von Willebrand factor in septic and nonseptic patients with acute lung injury

American Journal of Respiratory and Critical Care Medicine
Lorraine B WareMichael A Matthay

Abstract

Systemic endothelial activation and injury are important causes of multiorgan system failure. We hypothesized that plasma levels of von Willebrand factor (VWF), a marker of endothelial activation and injury, would be associated with clinical outcomes in acute lung injury (ALI) and acute respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS). In 559 patients with ALI/ARDS enrolled in the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute ARDS Network trial of two VT strategies, plasma VWF levels were measured at randomization (mean 350 +/- 265% of normal control plasma) and Day 3 (344 +/- 207%). Baseline VWF levels were similar in patients with and without sepsis, and were significantly higher in nonsurvivors (435 +/- 333%) versus survivors (306 +/- 209%) even when controlling for severity of illness, sepsis, and ventilator strategy (increased odds ratio of death of 1.6 per SD size increase in VWF; 95% confidence interval, 1.4-2.1). Higher VWF levels were also significantly associated with fewer organ failure-free days. Ventilator strategy had no effect on VWF levels. In conclusion, the degree of endothelial activation and injury is strongly associated with outcomes in ALI/ARDS, regardless of the presence or absence of sepsis, and is not modulated by a pr...Continue Reading

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