In order to verify whether measurement of plasma fibronectin (Fn) could represent a useful tool in acute-phase-response assessment, Fn was measured in 16 previously untreated patients (group A) affected by polymyalgia rheumatica giant cell arteritis (PMR-GCA), both before, during, and after 45 days of steroid therapy, and its course was compared with the behavior of some acute-phase reactants such as erythrocyte sedimentation rate (ESR), fibrinogen (Fng), and prealbumin (Preal). No difference was detected between the baseline Fn levels found in patients and those registered in a control group composed of 15 sex- and age-matched healthy subjects; no correlation was found with the other acute-phase parameters considered, and no significant variation of plasma Fn levels was registered as a result of the steroid therapy administered. On the contrary, all the other parameters revealed a good degree of correlation and tended progressively and homogeneously towards normalization as a result of the therapy administered. Plasma Fn was also measured in another group of 16 PMR-GCA patients (group B), all of whom had pathological retinal fluoroangiographic findings, and its levels were compared with those of the von Willebrand factor antigen (vWfAg), a biochemical index of vascular damage. While the levels of Fn continued to be the same as those detected in the control group, the values of vWfAg registered in group B proved to be significantly different from those found in another homogeneous control group of 25 healthy subjects. Finally, no correlation could be detected between Fn and vWfAg, and neither of them showed any significant correlation with the ESR. These results indicate that plasma Fn may not be considered to be an acute-phase reactant in PMR-GCA, and that it is not useful for revealing the vascular involvement in PMR-GCA.
- Acute phase
- Polymyalgia rheumatica giant cell arteritis
- von Willebrand factor antigen
ASJC Scopus subject areas