Early administration of sivelestat, the neutrophil elastase inhibitor, in adults for acute lung injury following gastric aspiration

Kei Hayashida, Seitaro Fujishima, Kenichiro Sasao, Tomohiko Orita, Yukitoshi Toyoda, Mitsuhide Kitano, Shingo Hori

Research output: Contribution to journalReview article

8 Citations (Scopus)


Gastric aspiration is the major cause of acute lung injury (ALI) and acute respiratory distress syndrome. Aspiration-induced ALI is believed to be, at least in part, facilitated by neutrophil-derived mediators and toxic molecules. We conducted a prospective cohort study based on the hypothesis that sivelestat, a specific neutrophil elastase inhibitor, is effective for treating ALI following gastric aspiration. Forty-four ALI patients who showed evidence of aspiration were observed within 12 h before intensive care unit admission and who had been mechanically ventilated within 12 h after admission were included in this study. Lung injury score (LIS) and PAO 2/FiO 2 (P/F) ratio on day 7 were defined as the primary outcomes of the study. Twenty-three patients were assigned to the sivelestat group and 21 to the control group. In univariate analyses, the proportions of patients with LIS lower than 1.0 on day 7 and a P/F greater than 300 on day 7 were significantly higher in the sivelestat group than in the control group (60.9% vs. 26.3%, P = 0.03; 87.0% vs. 36.8%, P = 0.001). In the logistic regression model, the use of sivelestat was an independent predictor for LIS lower than 1.0 on day 7 (relative risk, 7.4; 95% confidence interval [CI], 1.51-36.48) and for a P/F ratio higher than 300 on day 7 (relative risk, 18.5; 95% CI, 2.72-126.46). In the Cox proportional hazards model, the use of sivelestat was associated with a lower cumulative proportion of patients who received mechanical ventilation during the initial 14 days (hazard ratio, 2.6; 95% CI, 1.17-5.55).

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)223-227
Number of pages5
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 2011 Sep 1



  • Aspiration pneumonia
  • acute respiratory distress syndrome
  • critically ill patients
  • lung injury scores
  • systemic inflammatory response syndrome

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Emergency Medicine
  • Critical Care and Intensive Care Medicine

Cite this