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REVIEW ARTICLE
Year : 2012  |  Volume : 7  |  Issue : 1  |  Page : 13-20

Biomarkers in systemic lupus erythematosus: Do they make the mark?


Assistant Professor, Department of Internal Medicine, Postgraduate Institute of Medical Education and Research, Chandigarh, Punjab, India

Correspondence Address:
Varun Dhir
Assistant Professor, Department of Internal Medicine, Postgraduate Institute of Medical Education and Research, Chandigarh, Punjab
India
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None


DOI: 10.1016/S0973-3698(12)60004-1

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Biomarkers are indicators of biological processes. In lupus we especially require activity biomarkers to look at pre- dicting flares, differentiating damage from activity, and assessing response to treatment. There are numerous mol- ecules that have been evaluated for these purposes, but studies suffer from limitations of design, statistical rigor, and outcome measure. The best biomarker remains the oldest one, double-standard deoxyribonucleic acid (dsDNA) and has many longitudinal studies to back it, and shows the ability to predict renal flares. Apart from this anti-C1q, cell-bound complement activation products and urinary molecules-chemokines and neutrophil gelatinase-associated lipocalin (NGAL)-are promising. The interferon signature has not lived up to its promise; however, microRNA (miRNA) signature is newly coming up as a marker of activity. Even if we do come up with better biomarkers, there is lack of clarity on issues of socio-economic impact as well as psychological impact of frequent testing for biomarkers.


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