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BACKGROUND: Major burn represents a multi-system insult to the human body. Despite improvements in mortality and morbidity, reliable predictors of outcome are lacking. Raised levels of cell-free nucleic acids have been detected in various pathological processes including burns. We quantified circulating nucleic acids as potential objective measures of burn severity with predictive and prognostic value. METHODS: Expression of endothelial specific cell-free mRNA and cell-free DNA were measured in plasma of 19 burn patients at days 1-3 and week 10 following acute thermal injury and in 19 healthy controls by real-time quantitative PCR. RESULTS: Expression of endothelial specific mRNA was higher in burn patients compared to controls (p<0.001). DNA levels were significantly higher in the burn population in the first 48 h following injury. Plasma RNA and DNA levels related to %TBSA burn in the first 24h and to the levels of circulating endothelial progenitor cells. CONCLUSIONS: We show that plasma levels of endothelial specific mRNA and DNA are elevated acutely following burns, and relate to severity in terms of %TBSA burnt.

Original publication

DOI

10.1016/j.burns.2007.10.003

Type

Journal article

Journal

Burns

Publication Date

09/2008

Volume

34

Pages

809 - 816

Keywords

Adolescent, Adult, Aged, Biomarkers, Body Surface Area, Burns, DNA, Endothelial Cells, Female, Humans, Injury Severity Score, Male, Middle Aged, RNA, Messenger, Skin