Article Text

Plasma Interleukin 33 Level in Patients With Osteonecrosis of Femoral Head
  1. Liwen Zheng, MD,
  2. Wanchun Wang, MD, PhD,
  3. Jiangdon Ni, MD, PhD,
  4. Zhihong Li, MD, PhD,
  5. Tao Xiao, MD, PhD,
  6. Qin Zhang, MD, PhD,
  7. Xinzhang Mao, MD, PhD,
  8. Aiyong He, MD, PhD
  1. From the Department of Orthopedics, 2nd Xiangya Hospital, Central South University, Changsha, Hunan, People’s Republic of China.
  1. Received October 17, 2013, and in revised form December 7, 2013.
  2. Accepted for publication December 7, 2013.
  3. The authors declare no conflicts of interest.
  4. Reprints: Wanchun Wang, MD, PhD, Department of Orthopedics, 2nd Xiangya Hospital, Central-South University, Changsha, Hunan 410011, People’s Republic of China. E-mail: wangwanchun1962{at}

An Alarmin for Osteonecrosis of the Femoral Head?


Objectives 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.

Methods 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.

Results 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.

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

Key Words
  • plasma interleukin-33
  • osteonecrosis of femoral head

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