The study was designed to examine serum IL-18 level and its relation to metabolic control parameters and microvascular complications in type 1 diabetes mellitus (DM). Sixty two patients with type 1 DM and 30 healthy individuals were enrolled in the study. Serum IL-18 levels of patients with type 1 DM were significantly increased compared to controls (293.4+/-133.4 vs 211.2+/-63.9 pg/ml, P=0.003). Patients with poor glycemic control had higher levels of IL-18 than patients with well glycemic control (329.9+/-141.0 vs 226.3+/-89.6 pg/ml, P=0.02). There was no significant difference between the serum IL-18 levels of patients with microvascular complications and those of patients without microvascular complications (307.6+/-127.6 vs 293.2+/-145.6 pg/ml, P>0.05). IL-18 correlated positively with HbA(1c) (r=0.32, P=0.01) and postprandial blood glucose (PPBG) (r=0.26, P=0.02); and negatively with HDL-cholesterol (HDL-C) (r=-0.38, P=0.007). By linear regression analysis, PPBG was determined as the most explanatory parameter for the alterations in serum IL-18 levels (P=0.02). High levels of IL-18 in patients with type 1 DM is related to short and long term glycemic control and HDL-C levels but not to microvascular complications.