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BioMed Research International
Volume 2018 (2018), Article ID 8286067, 8 pages
Clinical Study

Serum Soluble Vascular Cell Adhesion Molecule-1 Overexpression Is a Disease Marker in Patients with First-Time Diagnosed Antinuclear Antibodies: A Prospective, Observational Pilot Study

1Praxis für Rheumatologie, Köln, Germany
2Medizinische Klinik III, Hematology, Oncology and Rheumatology, University Hospital of Bonn, Bonn, Germany
3Schmerzklinik Basel, Basel, Switzerland

Correspondence should be addressed to Matthias F. Seidel

Received 1 October 2017; Revised 22 December 2017; Accepted 3 January 2018; Published 1 February 2018

Academic Editor: Gernot Zissel

Copyright © 2018 Mara Oleszowsky and Matthias F. Seidel. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Objective. Antinuclear antibodies (ANA) serve as screening tests for connective tissue diseases but have low specificity. In this pilot study, we aimed to identify patients with first-time positive ANA and musculoskeletal complaints and correlate serum soluble vascular adhesion molecules as biomarkers. Methods. Prospective, observational study with 100 ANA-positive patients, comparing them to age- and gender-matched healthy controls (HC, ), was conducted. Serum levels of soluble intercellular adhesion molecule-1 (sICAM-1), endothelial-leukocyte adhesion molecule-1 (sELAM-1), and vascular cell adhesion molecule-1 (sVCAM-1) were measured. A subgroup of patients with systemic sclerosis (SSc) treated with immunosuppressants was followed over 10 months. Results. Patients belonged to three main entities: rheumatoid arthritis (RA, ), collagen diseases (CD, ) also including systemic sclerosis (SSc, ), and other autoimmune diseases (). sICAM-1 was similar among groups. sELAM-1 was elevated by 1.9-fold in only in SSc. sVCAM-1 was elevated by 3.1-fold in RA and by 3.3-fold in CD and in other autoimmune diseases by 3.4-fold. Seven SSc patients with immunosuppression had a 2.7-fold increased sVCAM-1 at baseline and reached the levels of healthy controls after 5 months, while CRP, ESR, and clinical parameters remained unchanged. Conclusion. Our study suggests that sVCAM-1 is a disease marker independent of standard serum parameters in several rheumatic diseases. This study is registered with EU PAS Register number: EUPAS22154.