Article open access publication

Soluble urokinase plasminogen activator receptor predicts mortality in exacerbated COPD

Respiratory Research, Springer Nature, ISSN 1465-993X

Volume 19, 1, 2018

DOI:10.1186/s12931-018-0803-2, Dimensions: pub.1104134235, PMC: PMC5963104, PMID: 29783959,



  1. (1) Hvidovre Hospital, grid.411905.8, Capital Region
  2. (2) University of Copenhagen, grid.5254.6, KU
  3. (3) Herlev Hospital, grid.411900.d, Capital Region






BACKGROUND: The inflammatory biomarker soluble urokinase plasminogen activator receptor (suPAR) is elevated in severe acute and chronic medical conditions and has been associated with short-term mortality. The role of suPAR in predicting risk of death following an acute exacerbation of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (AECOPD) has never been studied. We hypothesized that increased suPAR is an independent predictor of short-term mortality in patients admitted to hospital with COPD or acute respiratory failure. METHODS: This retrospective cohort study from a university hospital in the Capital Region of Denmark included 2838 acutely admitted medical patients with COPD as primary (AECOPD) or secondary diagnosis, who had plasma suPAR measured at the time of admission between November 18th, 2013 to September 30th, 2015 and followed until December 31st, 2015. Primary outcomes were 30- and 90-days all-cause mortality. Association of suPAR and mortality was investigated by Cox regression analyses adjusted for age, sex, CRP values and Charlson comorbidity index. RESULTS: For patients with AECOPD or underlying COPD, median suPAR levels were significantly higher among patients who died within 30 days compared with those who survived (5.7 ng/ml (IQR 3.8-8.1) vs. 3.6 ng/ml (2.7-5.1), P < 0.0001). Increasing suPAR levels independently predicted 30-day mortality in patients with COPD with a hazard ratio of 2.0 (95% CI 1.7-2.4) but not respiratory failure. CONCLUSIONS: In this large group of acutely admitted patients with COPD, elevated suPAR levels were associated with increased risk of mortality. The study supports the value of suPAR as a marker of poor prognosis.


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