Send to

Choose Destination
See comment in PubMed Commons below
Mod Rheumatol. 2013 Mar;23(2):297-303. doi: 10.1007/s10165-012-0658-1. Epub 2012 May 10.

A retrospective study of serum KL-6 levels during treatment with biological disease-modifying antirheumatic drugs in rheumatoid arthritis patients: a report from the Ad Hoc Committee for Safety of Biological DMARDs of the Japan College of Rheumatology.

Author information

Department of Medicine and Rheumatology, Graduate School of Medical and Dental Sciences, Tokyo Medical and Dental University, Tokyo, Japan.



We investigated associations between treatment with methotrexate (MTX) or biological disease-modifying antirheumatic drugs (DMARDs) and elevation of serum Krebs von den Lungen-6 (KL-6) levels in Japanese patients with rheumatoid arthritis (RA).


Using a standardized form, data were collected retrospectively from medical records and analyzed descriptively.


Of a total of 198 RA patients with KL-6 serum levels measured at initiation of treatment (month 0) and two or more times by month 12, 27 (17.9 %) of 151 RA patients treated with biological DMARDs, including infliximab, etanercept, adalimumab, and tocilizumab (the biological DMARDs group), and 5 (10.6 %) of 47 patients treated without biological DMARDs but with MTX (MTX group), met criterion B (max. KL-6 ≥500 U/ml and >1.5-fold from baseline) by 12 months. The majority of patients (n = 28) meeting criterion B had no apparent interstitial lung disease or malignancy. Of these 28 patients, 21 had serum KL-6 levels available after reaching their maximum level, and 13 (61.9 %) of the 21 then met criterion R [decrease to less than 500 U/ml or to less than (baseline + 0.5 × (maximum - baseline))] by month 12.


Serum KL-6 levels may increase during treatment with MTX or these biological DMARDs without significant clinical events.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]
PubMed Commons home

PubMed Commons

How to join PubMed Commons

    Supplemental Content

    Full text links

    Icon for Taylor & Francis
    Loading ...
    Support Center