The main limitation for this study is that the sample size is relatively small which limited our ability to fully analyze subgroup comparisons within SSc, such as ILD versus nonILD and dcSSc versus lcSSc
. The variation in patient age and disease duration may also impact the interpretation of the results.
Notably, there were no significant differences in sCD163 concentrations between DcSSc and LcSSc patients.
Serum sCD163 levels were measured by ELISA in overall group of patients with systemic sclerosis (SSc), patients with diffuse SSc (DcSSc), those with limited SSc (LcSSc) and controls.
Urinary sCD163 levels were measured by ELISA and corrected by urinary creatinine (uCr) in the overall group of patients with systemic sclerosis (SSc), patients with diffuse SSc (DcSSc), those with limited SSc (LcSSc), and controls.
With respect to the SSc subgroups, there was no significant difference in the serum levels of sCD155 between patients with dcSSc and patients with lcSSc. Thus, the serum levels of galectin-9, but not sCD155, were increased in patients with SSc.
Increased galectin-9 levels were observed in 82% (51/62) of all patients with SSc, 53% (27/51) of patients with dcSSc, and 47% (24/51) of patients with lcSSc. Furthermore, patients with SSc and increased galectin-9 levels had an elevated ESR more frequently than those with normal galectin-9 levels (41% vs.
Serum galectin-9 levels were raised not only in patients with dcSSc but also in patients with lcSSc. Elevated galectin-9 levels correlated positively with the ESR.
SSc: systemic sclerosis; dcSSc: diffuse cutaneous SSc; lcSSc: limited cutaneous SSc.
Forty-eight patients were examined in the study: 11 had dcSSc, 14 had lcSSc, and 23 were diagnosed as UCTD.
All patients with lcSSc had antinuclear antibodies as determined by IFA.
The results showed that patients with SSc, either affected by lcSSc or dcSSc, have higher T cell counts and significantly lower frequencies of T reg cells (also depicted in Figure 2) as compared to UCTD patients or to healthy controls.
As previously described from different authors, we also found an association between anticentromeric antigens and lcSSc or antitopoisomerase-I and dcSSc .