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This study was carried out to determine the serum levels of soluble intercellular adhesion molecule 1 (ICAM-1), nitric oxide and xanthine oxidase in patients with rheumatoid arthritis (RA) and to investigate the correlations between ICAM-1 and nitric oxide and xanthine oxidase. Serum samples were obtained from 42 patients with active RA and 30 healthy controls. ICAM-1, nitric oxide and xanthine oxidase levels were determined. ICAM-1, nitric oxide and xanthine oxidase levels were significantly elevated in patients with RA (p < 0.001). We found a significant positive correlation between ICAM-1 and nitric oxide (r = 0.426, p < 0.05). There was also a significant positive correlation between ICAM-1 and xanthine oxidase (r = 0.511, p < 0.01). High serum levels of soluble ICAM-1 may be a consequence of inflammation or tissue damage induced by nitric oxide generated by xanthine oxidase.