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December 1989

Leukotriene B4 Generation in Patients With Established Pulmonary Failure

Author Affiliations

From the Department of Surgery, Cornell University Medical College (Drs Davis, Yurt, Barie, Hudgins, Dineen, and Shires, and Ms Verma), and Rockefeller University (Dr Hudgins), New York, NY.

Arch Surg. 1989;124(12):1451-1455. doi:10.1001/archsurg.1989.01410120101019

• We investigated the cause of the reduced leukotriene B4 (LTB4) production seen in neutrophils from patients with established adult respiratory distress syndrome compared with control neutrophils. Lymphocytes/monocytes from controls were found to synergistically enhance the amount of LTB4 produced when incubated with neutrophils. This synergistic effect was not seen in cells from patients with adult respiratory distress syndrome. Fatty-acid analysis of neutrophils from patients with adult respiratory distress syndrome and controls showed remarkable similarity in all quantities of fatty acids measured except for arachidonic acid, where there was a 22% reduction in patients' cells compared with controls. Assay of the rate of generation of LTB4 and its degradation product, 20-hydroxy LTB4, revealed that reduced LTB4 generation in patients' neutrophils was not due to increased degradation of LTB4 by hydroxylase enzymes. When the amount of LTB4 being generated per milliliter of whole blood was analyzed in the patients with adult respiratory distress syndrome and compared with controls, it was determined that the potential to generate LTB4 in patients in the intensive care unit was three to five times greater than in controls.

(Arch Surg. 1989;124:1451-1455)