Churg-strauss syndrome: Serum markers of lymphocyte activation and endothelial damage

Wilhelm H. Schmitt*, Elena Csernok, Shigeto Kobayashi, Anja Klinkenborg, Eva Reinhold-Keller, Wolfgang L. Gross

*Corresponding author for this work
109 Citations (Scopus)


Objective. To find serologic markers of disease activity in patients with Churg-Strauss syndrome (CSS) linked to possible pathogenetic mechanisms by studying endothelial cell damage (soluble thrombomodulin [sTM]) in relation to T cell and eosinophil activation markers (soluble interleukin-2 receptor [sIL-2R] and eosinophil cationic protein [ECP]), and the presence of autoantibodies (antineutrophil cytoplasmic antibodies [ANCA] and anti- endothelial cell antibodies [AECA]) during both active and inactive phases of disease. Methods. Sixteen consecutive patients who fulfilled the 1992 Chapel Hill definition of CSS were studied over a period of 4.5 ± 3.9 years (mean ± SD). ECP was detected by Columbo immunocapture (immunoCAP) assay, sIL-2R and sTM by enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA), AECA by cell ELISA, and ANCA by indirect immunofluorescence and ELISA. Results. In patients with active disease, ECP (8.4 ± 90 units/ml), sIL-2R (3,725 ± 2,310 units/ml), and sTM levels (5.5 ± 2.9 units/liter) were significantly elevated compared with those in remission. Levels of sIL-2R showed a close correlation with levels of sTM (r = 0.75, P < 0.05). Interestingly, during remission, sIL-2R levels remained elevated in 4 of 7 patients, although the erythrocyte sedimentation rate, C-reactive protein level, and sTM level returned to the normal range (levels > 1,000 units/ml were associated with relapse). ANCA were found in only 7 patients (4 had classic ANCA, 3 had perinuclear ANCA), and AECA in 11 sera from 8 patients. In contrast to AECA, ANCA were associated with active disease. Conclusions. In its active state, CSS associated with markedly increased levels of sIL-2R and ECP, indicating T cell and eosinophil activation. Elevated sTM is a sign of endothelial cell damage that can be closely linked to T cell activation, as indicated by increased sIL-2R levels.

Original languageEnglish
JournalArthritis and Rheumatism
Issue number3
Pages (from-to)445-452
Number of pages8
Publication statusPublished - 03.1998

Research Areas and Centers

  • Academic Focus: Center for Infection and Inflammation Research (ZIEL)


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