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Year : 2014  |  Volume : 9  |  Issue : 3  |  Page : 115-119

Serum IL-6 level as a marker of disease activity in ankylosing spondylitis patients with pure axial involvement

1 Department of Medicine, All India Institute of Medical Sciences, New Delhi, India
2 Department of Medicine, All India Institute of Medical Sciences, New Delhi

Correspondence Address:
Shefali Khanna Sharma
Department of Medicine, All India Institute of Medical Sciences, New Delhi
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.1016/j.injr.2014.05.006

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Background: The assessment of disease activity in patients with ankylosing spondylitis (AS) continues to be a challenging issue. The currently available markers like C-reactive protein (CRP) and erythrocyte sedimentation rate (ESR) show poor correlation with clinical disease activity. Objectives: To compare serum IL-6 and hs-CRP levels between patients with AS with pure axial involvement and healthy controls; and to correlate them with Bath ankylosing spondylitis disease activity index (BASDAI), Bath ankylosing spondylitis functional index (BASFI) and Bath ankylosing spondylitis metrology index (BASMI). Methods: Sixty-two consecutive patients of AS with pure axial involvement satisfying the modified New York criteria and 60 age-matched healthy controls were recruited. In all patients, Bath indices were measured and fasting venous blood samples for serum IL-6 and hs-CRP levels were obtained. Comparison of median of serum IL-6 and hs-CRP levels was done between cases and healthy controls and levels also correlated with Bath indices by appropriate statistical methods. Results: The median serum IL-6 and hs-CRP levels were significantly higher in cases as compared to healthy controls (p ¼ 0.001). Serum IL-6 levels correlated significantly with BASDAI and BASFI (r ¼ 0.61, p ¼ 0.001 and r ¼ 0.27, p ¼ 0.032 respectively) but no correlation was found with BASMI (r ¼ -0.08, p ¼ 0.53).Serum hs-CRP did not correlate with Bath indices except BASMI (r ¼ 0.28, p ¼ 0.03). Conclusion: Serum IL-6 levels can be reliably used as an aid in monitoring of disease activity in AS patients with pure axial involvement.

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