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Comparative study of Interleukin-18 (IL-18) serum levels in adult onset Still's disease (AOSD) and systemic onset juvenile idiopathic arthritis (sJIA) and its use as a biomarker for diagnosis and evaluation of disease activity



Comparative study of Interleukin-18 (IL-18) serum levels in adult onset Still's disease (AOSD) and systemic onset juvenile idiopathic arthritis (sJIA) and its use as a biomarker for diagnosis and evaluation of disease activity



Bmc Rheumatology 3: 4



Signs and symptoms establish the diagnosis of adult onset Still's disease (AOSD) as well as of systemic onset juvenile idiopathic arthritis (sJIA). The published data regarding the importance of IL-18 as a marker for diagnosis and disease activity so far are conflicting. The aim of this study was to clarify the role of IL-18 as a diagnostic and disease activity marker in AOSD and sJIA. Thirty adult patients diagnosed with AOSD and twenty children diagnosed with sJIA were included in the study. Clinical and laboratory data were obtained retrospectively for each patient visit whenever IL-18 serum levels were determined. IL-18 levels were determined by ELISA. Sixty-five adults and twenty-three children presenting with fever and/or arthritis who did not meet the criteria for a diagnosis of AOSD or sJIA served as comparison groups. Rau's criteria and CRP values were used to evaluate disease activity. IL-18 levels were significantly elevated in patients with active AOSD compared to AOSD patients in remission and to the comparison group with a median of 16,327 pg/ml, 470 pg/ml, and 368 pg/ml, respectively (p < 0.001). Analogous to AOSD in active sJIA, the median IL-18 serum level was significantly higher with 21,512 pg/ml than in the comparison group with 2580 pg/ml (p < 0.001).At our cut-off point of 5000 pg/ml, the calculated specificity of IL-18 to establish the diagnosis of AOSD was 96.9%, and the sensitivity 63.3% (AUC = 0.870, p < 0.001). For the diagnosis of sJIA, a cut-off value of 10,000 pg/ml was chosen with a specificity of 100% and a sensitivity of 60% (AUC = 0.774, p = 0.003). At a cut-off value of 5000 pg/ml, the specificity was 62% and the sensitivity 65%. This study gives further evidence to earlier publications of elevated IL-18 serum levels in active AOSD and sJIA, with up to 1000-fold higher concentrations compared to other rheumatic diseases. A clear association of IL-18 serum levels with disease activity in AOSD was found. The results support the use of IL-18 as an important biomarker in AOSD and sJIA.

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Accession: 066603556

Download citation: RISBibTeXText

PMID: 30886992

DOI: 10.1186/s41927-019-0053-z


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