Retinol binding protein: Marker for insulin resistance and inflammation postburn?

Robert Kraft, David N. Herndon, Gabriela A. Kulp, Gabriel A. Mecott, Heiko Trentzsch, Marc G. Jeschke

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

6 Scopus citations


Introduction: Burn injury leads to vast changes in both metabolic and inflammatory responses and is associated with increased morbidity and mortality. Insulin resistance (IR) and hyperglycemia are major components of the hypermetabolic response found in burn-injured patients and subsequently contribute to adverse outcomes. Studies have shown that increased systemic retinol binding protein (RBP) levels are associated with IR and hyperinflammation in diabetic and obese patients. The aim of this study was to determine RBP profiles and to test the hypothesis that elevated RBP levels are associated with both IR and the inflammatory response in burned patients. Methods: RBP was measured in 372 patients during the acute stay postburn. Patients' demographics, glucose levels, and insulin administration were recorded. Cytokines, hormones, plasma proteins, and organ markers were measured. The average of all measurements of RBP (2.1 mg/dL) was used to divide patients into high and low groups. Statistical analysis was performed by Student t test. Statistical significance was accepted at P <.05. Results: Fifty-one patients (high group) had elevated RBP levels during acute hospitalization and demonstrated a significant higher incidence of multiorgan failure, sepsis, and mortality (P <.05). Moreover, in the high group, a significant increase of IR, inflammatory cytokines, and catabolic and organ-specific markers were detected (P <.05). Conclusions: Increased RBP levels postburn correlate with increased IR, inflammatory and catabolic responses, incidence of multiorgan failure, and mortality. RBP may be a novel biomarker to monitor these detrimental responses postburn.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)695-703
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of Parenteral and Enteral Nutrition
Issue number6
StatePublished - Nov 2011
Externally publishedYes


  • burn injury
  • catabolism
  • inflammation
  • insulin resistance
  • renal function
  • retinol binding protein (RBP)

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine (miscellaneous)
  • Nutrition and Dietetics


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