Serum Biomarkers in Patients with Relapsing Eosinophilic Granulomatosis with Polyangiitis (Churg-Strauss)
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INTRODUCTION: Previous studies suggest a role for eotaxin-3, TARC/CCL17 and IgG4 in newly-diagnosed patients with eosinophilic granulomatosis with polyangiitis (EGPA, Churg-Strauss) with highly active disease. The role of these biomarkers in relapsing disease is unclear. METHODS: Serum levels of TARC/CCL17, eotaxin-3, IgG4, and IgG4/IgG ratio were determined in serum samples from a longitudinal cohort of patients with EGPA (105 visits of 25 patients). Epidemiological, clinical and laboratory data were available for all visits. RESULTS: At the first visit, 80% of patients were using glucocorticoids and 68% additional immunosuppressive drugs. Disease flares were seen at 18 visits. The median BVAS and BVAS/WG scores at time of relapse were 4 and 2, respectively. None of the biomarkers tested were useful to discriminate between active disease and remission. Patients treated with prednisone had lower eotaxin-3 and eosinophil levels compared to patients not taking glucocorticoids irrespective of disease activity. Use of immunosuppressive agents was not associated with biomarker levels. CONCLUSIONS: Serum levels of TARC/CCL17, eotaxin-3, IgG4, and IgG4/IgG ratio do not clearly differentiate active and inactive disease in established EGPA. Defining biomarkers in EGPA remains a challenge especially during times of glucocorticoid use.
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