Eighty-five trauma patients between the ages of 18 and 55, with American College of Surgeon's (ACOS) trauma scores greater than or equal to 7 were entered into a double-blind, randomized, placebo-controlled study to assess the efficacy of prophylactic fibronectin (Fn) administration on clinical course, sepsis development, and septic mortality. Patients were randomized on admission to receive purified human virus-inactivated Fn or placebo control (human serum albumin, HSA). Fn or HSA was administered on a daily basis if and when the patient was Fn deficient (less than 75% normal). When a Fn deficiency was not evident, the patient received saline. Seventy one patients developed Fn deficiencies during their initial clinical course: 36 received Fn, 35 received HSA. Fourteen patients did not develop a Fn deficiency after trauma and thus received only saline. Analysis of admission data demonstrated no significant differences between the three groups with respect to extent of injury (injury severity score, ACOS trauma score) or physiologic assessments of organ function (serum creatinine, bilirubin, lactic acid). On day 1 after trauma, Fn levels were shown to correlate with other plasma proteins and cellular components (range of r values, 0.24 to 0.75; all p < 0.05), but not with organ function parameters. Eighteen of 85 patients became septic as judged by clinical criteria. Ten of these patients had received Fn (10 of 36), five had received HSA (5 of 35), and three had received only saline (3 of 14) before the development of sepsis (differences not significant). When septic, nine of 17 patients developed Fn deficiencies. Six patients received Fn while septic, three received albumin, and eight received saline. Seven patients died: 5 of 6 Fn patients, 1 saline, and 1 HSA recipient. Our data suggest that exogenous Fn repletion in states of deficiency does not alter clinical course, the development of sepsis, or septic mortality.
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