Increased serum levels of pancreatic stone protein/regenerating protein (PSP/reg) may help identify bacteria-related exacerbations of COPD, according to study results out of Switzerland.

Using an enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay, researchers assessed PSP/reg levels in 108 patients with a COPD exacerbation, 133 patients with stable COPD, and 40 healthy controls.

They found that serum PSP/reg levels were significantly higher in COPD exacerbation patients than in those with stable disease; individuals with stable disease had significantly higher levels than controls.

The researchers also found that elevated PSP/reg levels were associated with increased 2-year mortality among patients with COPD exacerbations.

“Serum PSP/reg level might represent a promising new biomarker to identify bacterial etiology of COPD exacerbation,” the authors concluded.