Study objectives: To study the correlations between
sputum elastase output with clinical and sputum inflammatory and
microbial factors in steady-state bronchiectasis.
Design: Prospective recruitment of patients with
bronchiectasis (17 women; 48.5 ± 16.5 years old;
FEV1/FVC, 1.3 ± 0.6/2.1 ± 0.9) for assessment of 24-h
sputum output of elastase, bacteria, leukocytes, interleukin (IL)-1β,
IL-8, tumor necrosis factor-α, and leukotriene B4.
Clinical variables assessed concomitantly included 24-h sputum volume,
lung spirometry, number of lung lobes affected by bronchiectasis, and
recruitment of outpatients (n = 30) in steady-state
Measurements and results:
Twenty-four-hour sputum elastase output correlated with 24-h sputum
volume (r = 0.79, p = 0.0001); number of bronchiectatic lung lobes
(r = 0.54, p = 0.0026); percent predicted FEV1
(r = −0.48, p = 0.0068); percent predicted FVC (r = −0.49,
p = 0.001); and leukocyte output (r = 0.75, p = 0.0001). There
was no correlation between the sputum output of bacteria with either
inflammatory or enzymatic factors (p > 0.05).
Conclusion: Our data highlight the importance of elastase
and the possibility of independent roles for enzymatic, inflammatory,
and microbial components in the pathogenesis of bronchiectasis. Further
research on novel therapy targeting each of these components should be