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Biomarkers. 2008 Nov;13(7):713-27. doi: 10.1080/13547500802655367 .

Serum interleukin-1beta as a marker for differentiation of asthma and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease.

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Department of Biochemistry, V. P. Chest Institute, University of Delhi, Delhi, India.


Asthma and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) are diseases of airway inflammation with clinical and physiological similarities, making their differentiation difficult. Airway inflammatory changes are associated with systemic changes. However, no serum marker is known for their differentiation. Therefore, serum interleukin (IL)-1beta levels were determined. Out of a total of 1023 patients screened, we included in the study ten patients each with atopic asthma, non-atopic asthma and COPD and ten healthy subjects. Skin prick tests with 14 inhalant allergens were performed on each patient. Blood was collected in the symptomatic and asymptomatic phases of the diseases and serum IL-1beta and IgE levels were determined. Our results showed that in the symptomatic phase in asthmatics, serum IL-1beta levels were higher (P<0.05) than in patients with COPD. Serum IgE levels were higher (P<0.05) in atopic asthmatics than in non-atopic asthmatics and in COPD patients. We conclude that serum IL-1beta level determination during the symptomatic phase of the diseases may help to differentiate asthmatics from patients with COPD. Serum IgE levels may differentiate atopic asthmatics from non-atopic asthmatics and COPD patients.

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