Elevated serum levels of soluble interleukin-2 receptor in patients with Wegener's granulomatosis. Association with disease activity

Arthritis Rheum. 1992 Sep;35(9):1088-96. doi: 10.1002/art.1780350914.


Objective: To investigate whether soluble interleukin-2 receptor (sIL-2R), a marker of T cell activation, could be a useful marker of disease activity in Wegener's granulomatosis (WG).

Methods: Soluble IL-2R levels were determined by enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay. WG disease activity in 102 patients was assessed according to clinical features and levels of classic antineutrophil cytoplasmic antibody (c-ANCA) and C-reactive protein (CRP).

Results: Soluble IL-2R levels were higher in patients with generalized and active disease than in those with limited and inactive disease. In 25 patients with complete clinical remission, sIL-2R levels were significantly elevated, although levels of CRP and c-ANCA were normal. Eight of these 25 patients had disease relapses within 6 months. Levels of sIL-2R were significantly higher in patients who had relapses than in those who did not. Patients with clinically active WG but low c-ANCA or CRP levels had elevated levels of sIL-2R.

Conclusion: Levels of sIL-2R correlate with disease activity in patients with WG, and may indicate imminent relapse.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Antibodies, Antineutrophil Cytoplasmic
  • Autoantibodies / metabolism
  • Biomarkers / blood
  • C-Reactive Protein / metabolism
  • Enzyme-Linked Immunosorbent Assay
  • Female
  • Granulomatosis with Polyangiitis / blood
  • Granulomatosis with Polyangiitis / diagnosis*
  • Granulomatosis with Polyangiitis / immunology
  • Humans
  • Lymphocyte Activation
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Receptors, Interleukin-2 / metabolism*
  • Recurrence
  • Solubility
  • T-Lymphocytes / immunology


  • Antibodies, Antineutrophil Cytoplasmic
  • Autoantibodies
  • Biomarkers
  • Receptors, Interleukin-2
  • C-Reactive Protein