Introduction Mortality from ruptured abdominal aortic aneurysms (RAAA) remains high. Severe systemic inflammation, leading to multi-organ failure, often occurs in these patients. In this study we describe the level of HLA-DR expression in a consecutive group of patients following surgery for RAAA and compare results between survivors and non-survivors. A similar comparison is made for IL-6 and IL-10 levels and Sequential Organ Failure Assessment (SOFA) scores.
Methods This is a prospective observational study. Patients with RAAA were prospectively analysed. Blood samples were collected on days 1, 3, 5, 7, 10 and 14. The fraction of CD-14 positive monocytes expressing HLA-DR was measured by flow-cytometry. IL-6 and IL-10 levels were measured by ELISA.
Results The study included 30 patients with a median age of 70 years, of which 27 (90%) were men. Six patients died from multiple organ failure, all other patients survived. The SOFA scores were significantly higher in non-survivors on days 1 through 14. HLA-DR expression on monocytes was significantly lower on days 3, 5, 7, 10 and 14 in non-survivors. IL-6 and IL-10 levels were significantly higher in non-survivors on day 1 and days 1 and 3, respectively.
Conclusion HLA-DR expression on monocytes was decreased, especially in non-survivors. All patients with RAAA displayed a severe inflammatory and anti-inflammatory response with an increased production of IL-6 and IL-10. Poor outcome is associated with high levels of IL-6 and IL-10 and a high SOFA score in the first three days after surgery, while low levels of HLA-DR expression are observed from day three after RAAA repair.