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J Investig Med. 2014 Mar;62(3):635-7. doi: 10.2310/JIM.0000000000000050.

Plasma interleukin 33 level in patients with osteonecrosis of femoral head: an alarmin for osteonecrosis of the femoral head?

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From the Department of Orthopedics, 2nd Xiangya Hospital, Central South University, Changsha, Hunan, People's Republic of China.



This study examines plasma interleukin 33 (IL-33) levels in patients with osteonecrosis of the femoral head (ONFH) and explores the possible use of IL-33 as a marker for early diagnosis and progression of ONFH.


One hundred twenty-five ONFH patients and 126 control subjects were recruited for this study. The plasma IL-33 levels were measured using a commercially available enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay kit. Effects of disease stage and risk factors on IL-33 level were also assessed.


Plasma IL-33 levels were significantly higher in the 125 ONFH patients (174.33 [SD, 65.73] pg/mL) than in the 126 control subjects (90.50 [SD, 25.17] pg/mL, P < 0.001). Plasma IL-33 levels were significantly higher in patients with stage III/IV ONFH (184.17 [SD, 43.75] pg/mL) than in patients with stage I/II ONFH (158.24 [SD, 50.11] pg/mL, P < 0.001). There was no significant difference in IL-33 levels between alcohol-induced, idiopathic, and steroid-induced cases.


Plasma IL-33 may be an alarmin for ONFH, and its levels may be related to disease progression.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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