SERUM INTERLEUKIN-6 AND B2-MICROGLOBULIN IN RHEUMATOID ARTHRITIS
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This study involved 40 pathological cases (5 males and 35 females) of age ranging from 27 to 66 years;They were suffering from classical or definite rheumatoid arthritis (RA) as defined be the diagnostic criteria of American rheumatism association. Another group comprising apparently healthy individuals of matched age and sex and living under the same environmental and relevant socioeconomic conditions were selected to serve as reference group. All patients and reference group were subjected to: full clinical history, full clinical examination, laboratory investigations included: haematological investigations: CBC, platelet count and ESR; biochemical investigations: alkaline phosphatase, aminotranferases, creatinine and B2-microglobulin (B2-M) by enzyme irnmuonoassay; serological investigations: Interleukin-6 (IL-6) by enzyme immunoassay method, CRP, RF by late agglutination slide test . The findings showed that there was a significant increase in serum IL-6 level in patients with RA as compared to controls; there was a significant correlation between serum IL-6 and acute phase reactants as estimated by ESR & CRP; there was a significant correlation between serum IL-6 & rheumatoid activity & platelet counts; no significant difference in serum IL-6 level was observed when patients with RA were divided according to line of treatment; there was a significant increase in serum B2-M in RA patients as compared to controls and it was well correlated with rheumatoid activity and acute phase reactants as measured by CRP & ESR and finally there was a positive significant correlation between SCUM IL-6 and serum B2-M. So, serial estimation of IL-6 and B2-M may be useful in disease assessment. The feature availability of inhibitors of IL-6 inroduction or antagonists could lead to development of an effective theraputic agent for this disease.