PTX3 is a prototypic soluble pattern recognition receptor, expressed at sites of inflammation and involved in regulation of the tissue homeostasis. PTX3 systemic levels increase in many (but not all) immune-mediated inflammatory conditions. Research on PTX3 as a biomarker has so far focused on single diseases. Here, we performed a multi-group comparative study with the aim of identifying clinical and pathophysiological phenotypes associated with PTX3 release. PTX3 concentration was measured by ELISA in the plasma of 366 subjects, including 96 patients with giant cell arteritis (GCA), 42 with Takayasu’s arteritis (TA), 10 with polymyalgia rheumatica (PMR), 63 with ANCA-associated systemic small vessel vasculitides (AAV), 55 with systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE), 21 with rheumatoid arthritis (RA) and 79 healthy controls (HC). Patients with SLE, AAV, TA and GCA, but not patients with RA and PMR, had higher PTX3 levels than HC. PTX3 concentration correlated with disease activity, acute phase reactants and prednisone dose. It was higher in females, in patients with recent-onset disease and in those with previous or current active vasculitis at univariate analysis. Active small- or large- vessel vasculitis were the main independent variables influencing PTX3 levels at multivariate analysis. High levels of PTX3 in the blood can contribute to identify an increased risk of vascular involvement in patients with systemic immune-mediated diseases. Copyright © 2019 Ramirez, Rovere-Querini, Blasi, Sartorelli, Di Chio, Baldini, De Lorenzo, Bozzolo, Leone, Mantovani, Manfredi and Tombetti. This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (CC BY). The use, distribution or reproduction in other forums is permitted, provided the original author(s) and the copyright owner(s) are credited and that the original publication in this journal is cited, in accordance with accepted academic practice. No use, distribution or reproduction is permitted which does not comply with these terms.