• Bronchopulmonary dysplasia;
  • Corticosteroids;
  • Neonatal respiratory distress syndrome;
  • Premature infants;
  • S-100 protein


Aim:  The role of granulocyte-specific S100A12, a marker for inflammatory disorders, in newborn lung disease is unknown. We compared postnatal blood S100A12 concentrations against respiratory distress syndrome (RDS) and bronchopulmonary dysplasia (BPD).

Methods:  Blood samples from 92 newborns were collected on admission, 12 h, day 1, day 3–4 and day 7, and analysed for S100A12. IL-8 and IL-6 were assayed in 52 infants.

Results:  Infants with RDS were significantly more premature (median 27 vs. 34 weeks), more likely to receive antenatal corticosteroids (84% vs. 26%) and have lower neutrophil counts (median 2.4 vs. 3.8 × 109/L) at admission. S100A12 levels peaked during the first day and were significantly lower in preterm infants with RDS compared to those without (median 250 vs. 616 ng/mL at 12 h, 281 vs. 828 ng/mL day 1, respectively). S100A12 levels were low among the 35 very preterm infants (24–29 week gestation) regardless of the presence of BPD (285 vs. 288 ng/mL on day 1). In comparison, IL-8 and IL-6 levels were not different between groups.

Conclusion:  Plasma S100A12 is low in infants with RDS, possibly because of gestationally related differences in neutrophil response or to the effects of antenatal corticosteroids. It is therefore not a useful marker of BPD development.