Serum YKL-40 levels may help distinguish exacerbation of post-infectious bronchiolitis obliterans from acute bronchiolitis in young children.Eur J Pediatr 2017; 176(7):971-978EJ
Children with post-infectious bronchiolitis obliterans (PIBO) are frequently hospitalized with acute exacerbation, but clinical differentiation of PIBO exacerbation from acute bronchiolitis is often challenging, which may result in treatment delay and chronic lung function impairment. We aimed to examine whether serum YKL-40 and growth factors could be markers for PIBO exacerbation. Thirty-seven children admitted with acute exacerbation of PIBO were enrolled and studied retrospectively. Diagnosis of PIBO was based on clinical history of acute respiratory infection followed by persistent airway obstruction and characteristic findings in high-resolution computed tomography. Serum levels of YKL-40, vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF), transforming growth factor (TGF)-β1, and platelet-derived growth factor (PDGF)-BB were measured on admission. The biomarkers were also examined in children admitted with acute bronchiolitis serving as positive controls (N = 30) and in age-matched controls (N = 20). Only YKL-40 levels were found to be significantly higher in PIBO patients with exacerbation compared with that in bronchiolitis patients and showed a positive correlation with the severity of disease before diagnosis of PIBO.
Our results suggest that measuring serum YKL-40 levels might help distinguish exacerbation of PIBO from acute bronchiolitis in young children. What is Known: • The children with post-infectious BO (PIBO) usually have recurrent wheezing and need frequent hospitalization due to acute exacerbation during the first disease years. • Clinical differentiation of PIBO exacerbation from acute bronchiolitis in young children is often challenging, which may result in treatment delay and chronic lung function impairment. What is New: • Measuring serum YKL-40 levels might help distinguish exacerbation of PIBO from acute bronchiolitis in young children.