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Nitric Oxide. 2000 Dec;4(6):615-9.

Increased nitric oxide production in patients with systemic sclerosis.

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Department of Internal Medicine, Rheumatology Unit, Post Graduate Institute of Medical Education and Research, Chandigarh, India 160012.


Nitric oxide (NO, nitrogen monoxide) is a messenger molecule whose synthesis can be induced by proinflammatory cytokines. Increased production of NO has been reported in various inflammatory and autoimmune diseases. We studied serum nitrite and citrulline as surrogate markers for NO production in patients with systemic sclerosis (SSc) and looked for correlation with extent of disease, disease duration, age, and systemic involvement. Thirty-four patients were studied against 20 controls. The nitrite levels were significantly higher in the disease group (1588.4 +/- 998.2 nmol/ml compared to 327.8 +/- 137.7 nmol/ml; P < 0.001). The citrulline levels of the disease group were also significantly higher (5490.1 +/- 2518.3 nmol/ml compared to 3264.5 +/- 2509.7 nmol/ml in the controls; P = 0.005). There was no significant difference among limited and diffuse subgroups. There was no significant difference in patients with or without arthritis or interstitial lung disease or with other systemic involvement. On multivariate analysis there was a trend toward a rising level of nitrite with worsening lung functions (P = 0.07). Hence, there is evidence of increased NO production in patients with SSc. There is no difference between NO levels in disease subgroups or those with systemic involvement.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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