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  • Open Access

Soluble triggering receptor expressed on myeloid cells-1 in bronchoalveolar lavage is not predictive for ventilator-associated pneumonia

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Critical Care200812 (Suppl 2) :P49

  • Published:


  • Mechanical Ventilation
  • Positive Predictive Value
  • Negative Predictive Value
  • Bronchoalveolar Lavage
  • Rapid Diagnostic Test


The aim of the study was to evaluate the usefulness of soluble triggering receptor expressed on myeloid cells-1 (sTREM-1) as a rapid diagnostic test for ventilator-associated pneumonia (VAP). To develop a rapid diagnostic test for the diagnosis of VAP, a common complication of mechanical ventilation [1], multiple biomarkers have been evaluated with variable results. sTREM-1 proved to be a good biomarker for sepsis [2]. For the diagnosis VAP, however, there have only been a few, relatively small, studies on the role of this receptor [3].


Retrospectively, 240 bronchoalveolar lavage fluid (BALF) samples, taken from patients in the ICU of a university hospital, were tested. sTREM-1 in BALF was measured using a quantitative sandwich enzyme immunoassay. Two researchers, unaware of the results of the assay, determined whether a VAP was present. Clinical suspicion of a VAP was confirmed by the presence of ≥ 2% cells containing intracellular organisms and/or a quantitative culture result of >104 colony forming units/ml in BALF. The disease had to be acquired after at least 48 hours of mechanical ventilation.


The mean concentration of sTREM-1 was significantly higher in BALF of patients with confirmed VAP compared with patients without VAP (P = 0.045). The area under the curve was 0.577 (95% CI = 0.503–0.651, P = 0.042). sTREM-1 levels in our hands proved not to be discriminative for VAP. Choosing a sensitivity of 95% resulted in a positive predictive value (PPV) of 41% and a negative predictive value (NPV) of 62% in our population. Taking a specificity of 95% led to a PPV of 67% and a NPV of 62%. sTREM-1 levels were not different in VAP cases caused by Gram-positive or Gram-negative bacteria. sTREM-1 levels were higher in nonsurvivors compared with survivors, regarding inhospital mortality.


The results imply that the sTREM-1 assay in BALF is not discriminative for VAP.

Authors’ Affiliations

University Hospital, Maastricht, The Netherlands


  1. Jackson WL, et al.: Curr Opin Anaesthesiol. 2006, 19: 117-121. 10.1097/ ArticleGoogle Scholar
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  3. Gibot S, et al.: N Engl J Med. 2004, 350: 451-458. 10.1056/NEJMoa031544PubMedView ArticleGoogle Scholar


© BioMed Central Ltd 2008

This article is published under license to BioMed Central Ltd.