Publication: Vasoactive intestinal peptide in early spondyloarthritis: low serum levels as a potential biomarker for disease severity
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Spondyloarthritis (SpA) is a family of inflammatory diseases sharing clinical, genetic, and radiological features. While crucial for tailoring early interventions, validated prognostic biomarkers are scarce in SpA. We analyze the correlation between serum levels of vasoactive intestinal peptide (VIP) and disease activity/severity in patients with early chronic inflammatory back pain. The study population comprised 54 patients enrolled in our early chronic inflammatory back pain register. We collected demographic information, clinical data, laboratory data, and imaging findings. VIP levels were measured by enzyme immunoassay in serum samples from 162 visits. The association between independent variables and VIP levels was analyzed using longitudinal multivariate analysis nested by patient and visit. No significant differences were observed in VIP levels between these two groups. Lower levels of VIP were significantly associated with a higher Bath Ankylosing Spondylitis Disease Activity Index (BASFI) score, presence of bone edema in magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) scan, and lower hemoglobin levels. Coexistence of cutaneous psoriasis was independently associated with lower VIP levels, and similar trend was observed for enthesitis.We conclude that SpA patients with low serum VIP levels had worse 2-year disease outcome, suggesting that
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