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Improving risk-stratification of rheumatoid arthritis patients for interstitial lung disease

Abstract : Objective: To determine the performance of 3 circulating markers for the diagnosis and the progression of interstitial lung disease (ILD) associated with rheumatoid arthritis (RA). Methods: Serum concentrations of 3 circulating markers, lung epithelial-derived surfactant protein D (SPD), chemokine CCL-18 and Krebs von den Lungen-6 glycoprotein (KL-6), were measured by ELISA in consecutive patients with established RA. These patients were recruited from 3 tertiary centers and they all had been investigated by chest high-resolution computed tomography (HRCT). For a subset of French patients, a follow-up HRCT was available (mean interval between HRCT: 3±1.5 years). Results: Among the 147 included patients (age: 66 ± 12 years, 69% women, disease duration 11 ± 10 years), 40 (27%) had RA-ILD on chest HRCT. SPD, CCL18 and KL-6 concentrations were significantly higher in patients with RA-ILD. ROC curve analysis to assess the diagnostic abilities of the three markers for the diagnosis of RA-ILD showed a superiority of KL-6 (Area under the curve, AUC: 0.79 95% CI 0.72-0.86) compared to SPD (AUC: 0.66 95% CI 0.58-0.74) and CCL18 (AUC: 0.62, 95% CI 0.53-0.70). The sensitivity of KL-6 for the diagnosis of RA-ILD was 68% with a specificity of 83%. The combination of KL-6 with SPD and CCL18 improved its diagnostic ability, with increased sensitivity from 68% to 77%, specificity from 83% to 97%. Increased KL-6 levels were independently associated with the presence of RA-ILD after the adjustment on other RA-ILD risk factors. In the French subset with longitudinal data, baseline KL-6 serum levels were predictive of ILD progression and the degree of ILD progression on HRCT was proportional to baseline KL-6 concentrations. Conclusion: These results show that KL-6 is a relevant circulating marker for the diagnosis and might be an interesting marker for the progression of RA-ILD.
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Jérôme Avouac, Anne Cauvet, Alexia Steelandt, Yuichiro Shirai, Muriel Elhai, et al.. Improving risk-stratification of rheumatoid arthritis patients for interstitial lung disease. PLoS ONE, Public Library of Science, 2020, 15 (5), pp.e0232978. ⟨10.1371/journal.pone.0232978⟩. ⟨inserm-02893338⟩

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