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Early increase of TNFα and IL-6 in tracheobronchial aspirate fluid indicator of subsequent chronic lung disease in preterm infants
  1. Baldvin Jónssona,
  2. Kjell Tullusa,
  3. Annelie Braunerc,
  4. Ying Luc,
  5. Gerd Noackb
  1. aDepartment of Paediatrics, Karolinska Hospital, Stockholm, Sweden, bDepartment of Anaesthesiology, cDepartment of Microbiology
  1. Dr Baldvin Jonsson, Institution for Woman and Child Health, Division of Neonatology, Karolinska Hospital, 171-76, Stockholm, Sweden.


AIM To investigate if early changes in concentrations of proinflammatory cytokines in tracheobronchial aspirate fluid (TAF) from preterm infants could be used to detect infants at risk of chronic lung disease (CLD) and help in the selection of patients for early steroid treatment.

METHODS Twenty eight preterm infants less than 34 weeks of gestation (median 26 weeks) were intubated and daily measurements of TAF concentrations of tumour necrosis factor α (TNFα) and the interleukins IL-1β, IL-6, and IL-8 were made, using enzyme immunoassay techniques.

RESULTS Seventeen of the infants developed CLD. The infants who developed CLD had significantly increased concentrations of TNFα, IL-1ß, IL-6 on days 2 and 3. TNFα, IL-6, and IL-8 concentrations were significantly related to gestational age and duration of supplemental oxygen; TNFα, IL-6, and IL-8 concentrations also correlated with length of time on the ventilator.

CONCLUSION These data indicate that tracheobronchial aspirate fluid cytokine concentrations may be used as a predictor of subsequent CLD and may help select a group of preterm infants at high risk of developing CLD for early treatment.

  • cytokines
  • chronic lung disease
  • tracheobronchial aspirate fluid
  • mechanical ventilation

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