Pentraxin-3 as a Marker of Disease Activity in Takayasu Arteritis

Study Questions:

Is pentraxin-3 (PTX3) a biomarker of disease activity in patients with Takayasu arteritis?


Plasma levels of PTX3, C-reactive protein (CRP), and erythrocyte sedimentation rate (ESR) were measured in 57 Takayasu arteritis patients with known disease activity, 57 healthy controls, and 15 patients with acute infection.


Levels of PTX3 were higher in the 27 patients with active disease (median, 2.14 ng/ml; range, 0.57-48.18 ng/ml) compared to the 30 patients with inactive disease (median, 0.63 ng/ml; range, 0.00-1.64 ng/ml), healthy patients (median, 0.11 ng/ml; range, 0-1.20 ng/ml), or those with acute infection (median, 0.26 ng/ml; range, 0-0.75 ng/ml). A plasma PTX3 level >1 ng/ml was more accurate than normal thresholds of CRP or ESR for distinguishing active from inactive disease.


The authors concluded that plasma levels of PTX3 may help distinguish active from inactive Takayasu arteritis.


Takayasu arteritis is a systemic vascular inflammatory disease that affects the aorta and major branches, pulmonary, and coronary arteries. The disease is characterized by recurrent flares of activity leading to occlusive and aneurysmal vascular lesions. Assessment of disease activity is based primarily on clinical symptoms and detection of new vascular lesions. A reliable plasma biomarker reflecting disease activity could be useful in guiding anti-inflammatory treatment strategies. PTX3 is an acute phase reactant produced by vascular and inflammatory cells, and may also play a role in promoting vasculitis. This study supports a potential useful role for PTX3 as a biomarker for monitoring activity of Takayasu arteritis. However, patients with equivocal or unknown disease status were excluded from the analysis. Additional prospective studies in a broader patient population are necessary before this biomarker should be considered for clinical use.

Clinical Topics: Vascular Medicine

Keywords: C-Reactive Protein, Biological Markers, Takayasu Arteritis

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