Skip to main content

Volume 3 Supplement 1


Rapid measurement of radical oxygen species in biological fluids may help to diagnose infection


Recently, we showed the interest of instantaneous production of radical oxygen species (ROS) for diagnosis of meningitis ([1]). Polymorphonuclear neutrophils (PMN) are a major source of ROS through the activation of protein kinase C and NADPH oxidase pathway, which may differ according to stimuli.


To test if ROS measurements related to infection is different from other cause of ROS production in: pleural (PlF), peritoneal (PerF) fluids and bronchoalveolar lavage (BAL).


Monocentric study in ICU patients with systemic inflammatory response syndrome and suspicion of infection. PlF, PerF or BAL sampled for measurement of ROS by luminescence (luminol, basal condition or stimulation by phorbol 12-myriaste 13-acetate (PMA, PKC activator)) ([1]). Non parametric tests, p < 0.05. Results are expressed in area under the curve of luminescence (AUC), median (25-75th percentiles).

Definition of infection: microbiological positivity in BAL culture (≥104 UFC/ml), in PerF or PlF, or number of PMNs ≥250/mm3 in PerL


58 patients, SAPSII 43 (34-51), temperature 37.5°C (36.6-38), leukocytes 13800/mm3 (11175-23800). 17 PerF (35% infected), 28 PlF (29%infected), 20 BAL (35% infected). Culture were positive for Stenotrophomonas maltophilia in PerF and Pseudomonas aeruginosa in PlF and BAL.

AUC ROS luminescence was elevated for basal (Figure) and PMA stimulated condition when infection was present (grey boxes) in PerF (p = 0.0009, p = 0.001 respectively) and in PlF (p = 0.0016, p = 0.0019) compared to negative culture (white boxes), but not in BAL. If ROS production was reported to the number of PMNs, there was no difference according to infection.

figure 1

Figure 1


Instantaneous production of ROS was significantly increased when infection was present in PerF and PlF but not in BAL. These results questioned the validity of BAL for characterization of inflammation ([2]). This test is simple to diagnose the presence of infection and requires a validation in a larger cohort.


Ministère de l´Enseignement Supérieur et de la Recherche

Patent WO 2012/014156


  1. Lukaszewicz AC, Gontier G, Faivre V, Ouanounou I, Payen D: Elevated production of radical oxygen species by polymorphonuclear neutrophils in cerebrospinal fluid infection. Ann Intensive Care. 2012, 2: 10-10.1186/2110-5820-2-10.

    Article  PubMed  PubMed Central  Google Scholar 

  2. Chollet-Martin S, Gatecel C, Kermarrec N, Gougerot-Pocidalo MA, Payen DM: Alveolar neutrophil functions and cytokine levels in patients with the adult respiratory distress syndrome during nitric oxide inhalation. AJRCCM. 1996, 153: 985-90.

    CAS  Google Scholar 

Download references

Author information

Authors and Affiliations


Rights and permissions

Open Access This article is distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License (, which permits use, duplication, adaptation, distribution, and reproduction in any medium or format, as long as you give appropriate credit to the original author(s) and the source, provide a link to the Creative Commons license, and indicate if changes were made.

Reprints and permissions

About this article

Check for updates. Verify currency and authenticity via CrossMark

Cite this article

Lukaszewicz, A., Bardon, J., Faivre, V. et al. Rapid measurement of radical oxygen species in biological fluids may help to diagnose infection. ICMx 3 (Suppl 1), A645 (2015).

Download citation

  • Published:

  • DOI: