Thrombin worsens extravascular lung water and outcomes of septic patients with acute respiratory distress syndrome: A case control study

Fu Tsai Chung*, Chih Hsi Kuo, Chun Hua Wang, Shu Min Lin

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal Article peer-review


Endothelial cell (EC) activation may increase systemic vascular permeability, causing extravascular lung water (EVLW) in sepsis with acute respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS). However, the correlation between thrombin and EVLW in sepsis and ARDS has not yet been addressed. Patients with sepsis and ARDS were prospectively enrolled between 2014 and 2016, and EVLW and serum thrombin levels on days 1 and 3 were measured and compared between surviving and non-surviving patients. Additionally, morphological changes in human umbilical vein endothelial cells (HUVECs) in the serum of patients with high and low EVLW were evaluated. The levels of EVLW, endothelial cells, and thrombin may positively correlate with the survival of patients with severe sepsis and ARDS. Twenty-seven patients were enrolled, and baseline characteristics, including age, sex, Acute Physiology and Chronic Health Evaluation (APACHE) II, prior 24-h fluid balance, body mass index, and shock status, were similar between survivors and non-survivors; however, day 1 EVLW was higher in non-survivors (27.5 ± 8.4 vs 22 ± 6.5 mL/kg, P = .047). EVLW of survivors improved from day 1 to day 3 (22 ± 6.5 vs 11 ± 3.8 mL/kg, P < .001), but did not improve in non-survivors (27.5 ± 8.4 vs 28 ± 6.7 mL/kg, P = .086), which means that patients had significantly lower EVLW on day 3 than on day 1. Thrombin levels of survivors significantly improved (1.03 ± 0.55 vs 0.87 ± 0.25 U/mL, P = .04) but did not improve in non-survivors (1.97 ± 0.75 vs 2.2 ± 0.75 U/mL, P = .08) from day 1 to day 3. EVLW and thrombin levels were positively correlated (r2 = 0.71, P < .0001). In vitro, the morphology and junctions of HUVECs changed when the serum from patients with high EVLW was added. The intercellular distances among the control, high EVLW, and low EVLW groups were 5.25 ± 1.22, 21.33 ± 2.15, and 11.17 ± 1.64 µm, respectively (P < .05).

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)E36200
JournalMedicine (United States)
Issue number48
StatePublished - 01 12 2023

Bibliographical note

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© 2023 Lippincott Williams and Wilkins. All rights reserved.


  • acute respiratory distress syndrome
  • endothelial cells
  • extravascular lung water
  • sepsis
  • thrombin


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