Dynamics of serum levels of nitrogen oxide and hydrogen sulfide metabolites as markers of organ dysfunction in acute phase of multiple trauma

N.V. Matolinets


Background. Patients with multiple organ and system traumas are at high risk of shock, complications and death during few years of follow-up. Nowadays, all known scales used to determine the severity of multiple trauma and its prognosis are of limited sensitivity because of their subjectivity. In recent years, a lot of attention is paid to gas transmitters, in particular nitrogen oxide (NO), carbon monoxide (СО) and hydrogen sulfide (H2S). Since the tissue damage results in the elevation of gas transmitter production by different cells it can be assumed that the levels of gas transmitters and oxidized products in the blood serum serve as markers of multiple trauma and correlates with its prognosis. This investigation was done to determine the severity of endothelial dysfunction and the role of gas transmitters as markers of organ dysfunction in acute phase of multiple trauma. Materials and methods. Clinical study and treatment data of 28 multiple trauma patients are presented. The mean age of them was 48.4 ± 5.2 years. Upon admission, all patients were stratified according to Acute Physiology and Chronic Health Evaluation II scale depending on trauma severity: group 1 (n = 22) — with moderate and group 2 (n = 6) — with severe multiple trauma. Results. The significant decrease of NO concentration occurred in both groups already at the admission as compared to the normal values (0.49 ± 0.06 μmol/l, р = 0.001). The concentration of NO in the blood serum increased to 0.43 ± 0.03 μmol/l and 0.45 ± 0.03 μmol/l, respectively, after 24 hours in the intensive care unit. At admission, the difference between the mean levels of NOx in the blood serum of patients from two groups was significant (р = 0.003). Intensive therapy resulted in the increase of NO2 + NO3 concentration in both groups (р = 0.001 compared to the baseline), and the difference between groups was not statistically significant anymore (р = 0.475). Upon admission, the mean level of H2S in the blood serum of patients from both groups was significantly higher than normal (р = 0.025). The difference between groups was not significant (р = 0.117). Intensive care was accompanied by the normalization of H2S level. Conclusions. The endothelial dysfunction occurs in patients with acute multiple trauma which is confirmed by significant changes of gas trans­mitter levels in the blood serum. The concentrations of NO and its oxidized products (NOx) at admission serve as the sensible markers of multiple trauma severity. The low level of NOx upon admission in patients with extremely severe trauma can predict an unfavourable outcome of the acute phase of multiple trauma.


multiple trauma; endothelial dysfunction; serum level of gas transmitters (NO, NOx, H2S)


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