Biomarkers Predict Lung Decline in Systemic Sclerosis PDF Print E-mail
Thursday, 20 September 2012 21:39
Predicting risk of pulmonary fibrosis and pulmonary hypertension is an urgent priority in systemic sclerosis. Lung function often declines rapidly in the first years after diagnosis, and interstitial lung disease (ILD), although highly variable in severity and disease coruse, is a major cause of mortality in systemic sclerosis.

Two ILD specialists at London's Brompton Hospital identify two biomarkers in peripheral blood as possibly simpler and better alternatives to the current best standard for prognosis, a staging system based on a combination of CT imaging and forced expiratory volume measurements.

Decreased FEV and decreased diffusing capacity of the lung for carbon monoxide are sensitive for interstitial lung disease, note the authors of the review in the International Journal of Rheumatology, but may indicate pulmonary vascular disease rather than ILD. The most promising tests specific for ILD in systemic sclerosis are KL-6, a glycoprotein in alveolar and bronchiolar epithelial cells whose serum levels rise after cellular injury, and CCL-18, an immune-system regulator in lung cells that is increased in a number of fibrotic lung diseases.

Serum levels of KL-6 are significantly higher in systemic sclerosis patients who have ILD than in those who don't, according to the review. The molecule has been used routinely to predict ILD in systemic sclerosis patients in Japan, but requires validation in prospective studies. In the first large study to test a prognostic biomarker for pulmonary decline in systemic sclerosis while adjusting for severity of lung disease, increased levels of CCL-18 were independently predictive of decreasing lung function and death.

Like many proposed biomarkers, these require validation by separate studies. At least two multicenter trials are currently under way to identify markers of prognosis in idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis. No such study has yet been launched for ILD in systemic sclerosis.

Source: UBM Medica (2012), "Biomarkers Found to Predict Lung Decline in Systemic Sclerosis"; Original article can be viewed at the MusculoskeletalNetwork

 
More articles :

» Dysexecutive Syndrome A Specific Pattern of Cognitive Impairment in Systemic Sclerosis

Systemic sclerosis (SSc), also called scleroderma, is a connective-tissue disorder characterized by obliterative microvascular lesions and diffuse interstitial fibrosis. SSc damages the small and medium-sized vessels serving the skin, joints...

» Too Many Sugary Drinks, Definitely A Bad Thing

Bad news cola lovers: Soda isn't the healthiest thirst-quencher in the cooler. In fact, health risks surrounding sugary drinks are increasingly well-documented. Rates of heart disease, obesity, and type 2 diabetes are higher among people who sip...

» New Research Findings May Bring Breakthrough For Scleroderma Patients

Research presented at the European Academy of Dermatology and Venereology in Prague, Czech Republic, suggests that inhibition of the may be a viable therapeutic target in patients.This finding builds on previous research by presenter and lead...

» The SCOT Study

SCOT is a clinical research study designed for people with severe forms of . SCOT stands for Scleroderma: Cyclophosphamide Or Transplantation. The SCOT study will compare the potential benefits of stem cell transplant and high-dose monthly...

» Unite Against Scleroderma 2012

For our second year running, the Scleroderma Care Foundation will be hosting its “Unite Against Scleroderma” Awareness Walk around the , Port of Spain. Scheduled to start from 3:00pm, the Walk would be held on Sunday May 6th 2012 and cover one...

» Grant To Fund Study Of Possible Links Between Water Pollution, Disease

Arkansas Children’s Hospital Research Institute scientists have been awarded a $997,000 grant to study the relationship between a common pollutant in water systems and the increase in autoimmune disease. The award was announced yesterday by the...