Plasma interleukin responses as predictors of outcome stratification in patients after major trauma: a prospective observational two centre study

Matthew Allan Jones, James Hanison, Renata Apreutesei, Basmah Allarakia, Sara Namvar, Deepa Shruthi Ramaswamy, Daniel Horner, Lucy Smyth, Richard Body, Malachy Columb, Mahesan Nirmalan, Niroshini Nirmalan, Mahesan Nirmalan

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Background and objectives: There is a need to develop objective risk stratification tools to define efficient care pathways for trauma patients. Biomarker-based point of care testing may strengthen existing clinical tools currently available for this purpose. The dysregulation of pro- and anti-inflammatory cytokines in the pathogenesis of organ failure is well recognised. This study was carried out to evaluate whether blood concentrations of IL-6, IL-10, and IL-6:IL-10 ratios in the early stages of the illness are significantly different in patients with worsening organ function. Materials and methods: In this prospective observational cohort study, plasma concentrations of IL-6 and IL-10 on days 1, 3 and 5 were measured in 91 major trauma patients using a multiplexed cytometric bead array approach. A composite measure of adverse outcome - defined as SOFA ≥ 2 or mortality at 7 days, was the primary outcome. IL-6 and IL-10 concentrations in early samples (days 1, 3 & 5) in patients who developed SOFA ≥ 2 on day 7 were compared against those who did not. Similar composite outcome groups at day 5 and in groups with worsening or improving SOFA scores (ΔSOFA) at days 7 and 5 were undertaken as secondary analyses. Results: Stratification on day 7, 44 (48%) patients showed adverse outcomes. These adverse outcomes associated with significantly greater IL-6 concentrations on days 1 and 5 (Day 1: 47.65 [23.24-78.68] Vs 73.69 [39.93 – 118.07] pg/mL, P = 0.040 and Day 5: 12.85 [5.80-19.51] Vs 28.90 [8.78-74.08] pg/mL; P = 0.0019). Similarly, IL-10 levels were significantly greater in the adverse outcome group on days 3 and 5 (Day 3: 2.54 [1.76-3.19] Vs 3.16 [2.68-4.21] pg/mL; P = 0.044 and Day 5: 2.03 [1.65-2.55] Vs 2.90 [2.00-5.06] pg/mL; P <0.001). IL-6 and IL-10 concentrations were also significantly elevated in the adverse outcome groups at day 3 and day 5 when stratified on day 5 outcomes. Both IL-6 and IL-6:IL-10 were found to be significantly elevated on days 1 and 3 when stratified based on ΔSOFA at day 5. This significance was lost when stratified on day 7 scores. Conclusions: Early IL-6 and IL-10 concentrations are significantly greater in patients who develop worsening organ functions downstream. These differences may provide an alternate biomarker-based approach to strengthen risk stratification in trauma patients.

Original languageEnglish
Article number1276171
JournalFrontiers in Immunology
Publication statusPublished - 23 Nov 2023


  • SOFA
  • biomarkers
  • cytokines
  • interleukin-10
  • interleukin-6
  • trauma
  • Prognosis
  • Prospective Studies
  • Interleukin-10
  • Humans
  • Interleukin-6
  • Interleukins
  • Biomarkers


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