Original Article

Ann Lab Med 2015; 35(1): 105-110

Published online January 1, 2015

Copyright © Korean Society for Laboratory Medicine.

Inflammatory Cytokines and Their Prognostic Ability in Cases of Major Burn Injury

Jun Hur, M.D.1, Hyeong Tae Yang, M.D.1, Wook Chun, M.D.1, Jong-Hyun Kim, M.D.1, Seon-Hee Shin, M.D.2, Hee Jung Kang, M.D.3, and Hyun Soo Kim, M.D.4

Department of Burn Surgery1, Hallym University Hangang Sacred Heart Hospital, Hallym University College of Medicine, Seoul; Departments of Pediatrics2 and Laboratory Medicine4, Hallym University Dongtan Sacred Heart Hospital, Hallym University College of Medicine, Hwaseong; Department of Laboratory Medicine3, Hallym University Sacred Heart Hospital, Hallym University College of Medicine, Anyang, Korea

Correspondence to: Hyun Soo Kim
Department of Laboratory Medicine, Hallym University Dongtan Sacred Heart Hospital, Hallym University College of Medicine, 7 Keunjaebong-gil, Hwaseong 445-170, Korea
Tel: +82-31-8086-2775
Fax: +82-31-8086-2789

Received: June 11, 2014; Revised: July 7, 2014; Accepted: November 21, 2014

This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution Non-Commercial License ( which permits unrestricted non-commercial use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Background: Major burn injuries induce inflammatory responses and changes in the levels of various cytokines. This study was conducted to assess early changes in the serum levels of inflammatory cytokines after burn injury, identify cytokines associated with mortality, and characterize correlations among cytokines. Methods: Blood samples of 67 burn patients were collected on days 1 and 3 after burn injury, and the concentrations of 27 cytokines were measured using the Bio-Plex Suspension Array System (Bio-Rad Laboratories, USA). Blood samples of 25 healthy subjects were used as controls. We analyzed statistical differences in the concentrations of each cytokine between the control and patient groups, between day 1 and day 3, and between survival and nonsurvival groups. Correlations among 27 cytokines were analyzed. Results: Median concentrations of granulocyte colony-stimulating factor (G-CSF), granulocyte macrophage colony-stimulating factor (GM-CSF), interleukin 1 receptor antagonist (IL-1RA), interleukin 6 (IL-6), interleukin 8 (IL-8), interleukin 10 (IL-10), interleukin 15 (IL-15), monocyte chemoattractant protein-1 (MCP-1), macrophage inflammatory protein 1β (MIP-1β), and vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) were significantly higher in burn patients than in controls. IL-1RA, IL-6, and MCP-1 levels were significantly higher in the nonsurvival group than in the survival group on day 1 after burn injury. Correlation analysis of 27 cytokines showed different relationships with one another. Stronger correlations among interferon γ (IFN-γ), IL-2, IL-4, IL-7, IL-12p70, and IL-17 were found. Conclusions: IL-1RA, IL-6, and MCP-1 may be used as prognostic indicators of mortality in burn patients and the increase in cytokine concentrations is induced by interactions within a complex network of cytokine-related pathways.

Keywords: Cytokine, Burn, Inflammation, Mortality