Biomarkers in vasculitis

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Abstract

Purpose of review

Biomarkers are considered to be helpful in diagnosing, monitoring, predicting treatment response, and prognosis in clinical practice and as outcomes in clinical trials. In this article, we review the recent literature on new biomarkers and the expanding use of older ones in vasculitic conditions.

Recent findings

In antineutrophil cytoplasmic antibody-associated vasculitis patients antineutrophil cytoplasmic antibody type may be useful as a predictor of relapse and response to rituximab. Moreover, serial measurements of proteinase-3 titer may help to predict relapse. Urinary soluble CD163 levels are promising for identifying active renal vasculitis. Imaging modalities such as positron emission tomography, computerized angiography tomography, and temporal artery ultrasound maintain their role in diagnosis and disease assessment in large vessel vasculitis. Fecal calprotectin is a useful marker of active gastrointestinal involvement in Behçet's syndrome.

Summary

The publications reviewed here potentially may help to move the field of biomarkers in vasculitis management. However, more work toward understanding the underlying pathophysiology and effects of an intervention on the disease process are needed before true biomarkers can be realized. Further studies with appropriate control groups, using good definitions for disease states such as activity and remission are needed to guide our use of these markers correctly in the management of our patients.

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