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Biomarkers Predict Digital Vascular Events in Scleroderma

Biomarkers Predict Digital Vascular Events in Scleroderma

The likelihood of digital vascular pits, ulcers, or gangrene is increased in patients with scleroderma who are double-positive for anti-interferon-inducible protein 16 and anticentromere autoantibodies.

Particularly high anti-interferon-inducible protein 16 levels were found in patients with scleroderma who had active ischemic ulcers or gangrene.

Measuring anti-interferon-inducible protein 16 levels in patients with scleroderma and anticentromere antibody positivity may help stratify those at high risk for significant digital vascular events.

Early intervention could improve outcomes in patients with scleroderma, making risk stratification important. Zsuzsanna McMahan and colleagues at Johns Hopkins University suggest that early aggressive treatment of progressive vascular disease in patients with scleroderma could help prevent peripheral vascular complications.

“Identifying the patients who are at the highest risk of serious vascular complications is important but clinically challenging,” they said.

Patients with scleroderma who are positive for anticentromere antibodies are known to be at higher risk for vascular complications. But it is not known whether double positivity with anti-interferon-inducible protein 16 confers even greater risk.

The authors presented the findings of their study examining double positivity with anticentromere antibodies and anti-interferon-inducible protein 16 as biomarkers for increased vascular events in patients with scleroderma in a recent Arthritis Care & Research article.

The study

The authors conducted a retrospective cross-sectional study that included 165 patients with scleroderma who were anticentromere antibody positive.

Specifically, 2 groups were compared, those with both anticentromere antibodies and anti-interferon-inducible protein 16 and those with only anticentromere antibodies.

The results

• Of the 165 patients with scleroderma and anticentromere antibodies, 12.7% also were positive for anti-interferon-inducible protein 16.

• 42 patients had digital pits, 39 had digital ulcers, and 15 had digital gangrene.

• Of the 21 (12.7%) subjects who were double-positive for anti-interferon-inducible protein 16 and anti-centromere antibodies, 85.7% were women, 90% were Caucasian, 10% were African American, and 90.5% had the limited cutaneous subtype of scleroderma.

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