Serum elastase and its inhibitors were determined in the sera of heavily burnt patients. Serum elastase levels were elevated at two to eight days after a severe burn-accident and returned towards normal values from the 10th day on. Both alpha1-antitrypsin and alpha2-macroglobulin levels were also elevated in the sera of heavily burnt patients. alpha1-Antitrypsin showed a parallel evolution to the elastase level but alpha2-macroglobulin followed a somewhat different time curve. Plasminogen and antithrombin were not elevated significantly. It is suggested that serum elastase may play a role in tissue degradation in burnt patients.
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