Study suggests periostin may be useful biomarker for systemic sclerosis by Lindsey Shapiro, PhD
Blood levels of the periostin protein were associated with the degree of skin and cardiac involvement, but not lung or blood vessel involvement, in people with systemic sclerosis (SSc), a study found.
Levels of the protein also were higher in patients with diffuse forms of SSc, those living with the disease for a shorter time, and in male patients.
Findings overall suggest that periostin may be a useful biomarker for predicting disease severity, particularly cardiac complications, in SSc.
“To our knowledge, this is the first study to show that periostin is elevated in SSc cardiac tissue,” the researchers wrote, noting that “future work will need to prospectively investigate periostin levels in SSc patients.”
The study, “Periostin overexpression in scleroderma cardiac tissue and its utility as a marker for disease complications,” was published in the journal Arthritis Research and Therapy.
The fibrosis (scarring) that characterizes SSc can vary significantly from patient to patient and may involve various organs, such as the lungs and heart, in addition to the skin.
“Understanding which patient is at risk for specific organ involvement early in the disease is vital, as timely therapeutic intervention may prevent disease progression and increase survival,” the researchers wrote.
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