Anti-rheumatic treatment is not associated with reduction of pentraxin 3 in rheumatoid arthritis, psoriatic arthritis and ankylosing spondylitis
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Background: Pentraxin 3 is proposed to be a marker of inflammation and cardiovascular risk, but its role in inflammatory rheumatic diseases (IRDs) is still uncertain. Therefore, we wanted to examine if anti-rheumatic treatment reduced serum PTX3 (s-PTX3) levels in IRDs, and if s-PTX3 levels were related to other markers of inflammation and to endothelial function (EF). Methods: We examined s-PTX3, EF and established inflammatory biomarkers in 114 IRD patients from the PSARA study before and after 6 weeks and 6 months of treatment with methotrexate (MTX) or anti-tumor necrosis factor alpha (anti-TNF) therapy with or without MTX comedication. Results: s-PTX3 levels in all IRD diagnoses were above the upper limit of the reference range. In contrast to established inflammatory markers, in particular CRP and ESR, s-PTX3 levels did not change significantly after 6 weeks and 6 months of anti-rheumatic therapy. There was no difference in change in s-PTX3 levels from baseline to 6 weeks and 6 months between MTX monotherapy and anti-TNF regimens. CRP, ESR and EF were not related to changes in s-PTX3 neither in crude nor adjusted analyses. Conclusion: IRD patients have increased s-PTX3 levels, which, in contrast to other inflammatory markers, do not seem to improve within 6 months of therapy with MTX and/or anti-TNF. Thus, s-PTX3 might reflect a persisting immune process, even a causal factor of inflammation, not inhibited by the standard anti-rheumatic treatment. Furthermore, even though s-PTX3 is thought to be a strong predictor of cardiovascular prognosis, it was not related to EF.