Takayasu arteritis (TAK) and giant cell arteritis (GCA) are two major variants of large vessel vasculitis, and age is a major factor in their differential diagnosis. We sought to determine whether the two diseases exist on the same spectrum. We compared the serum levels of multiple cytokines and chemokines in 25 patients with TAK, 20 patients with GCA, and sex- and age-matched healthy donors for either condition (HD-TAK and HD-GCA). To evaluate the effects of age on the levels of cytokines and chemokines, we performed multiple logistic regression analysis using the least absolute shrinkage and selection operator (LASSO) method. The levels of IL-1RA, IL-10, GM-CSF, G-CSF, FGF-2, eotaxin, and IP-10 were significantly different between TAK and GCA, but no differences were found in the levels of IL-6, IL-12(p40), IL-17, IFN-γ, and TNF-α. Significant differences in the levels of IL-1RA, IL-10, GM-CSF, eotaxin, and IP-10 were observed between the HD-TAK and HD-GCA groups. Multiple logistic regression analysis demonstrated that only FGF-2 and IP-10 could significantly distinguish the diseases when added to age. Multiple logistic analysis using factors selected by the LASSO method revealed that FGF-2 was the only significant factor to distinguish the diseases when added to age. Among numerous cytokines and chemokines analyzed, only FGF-2 could be used together with age at diagnosis to differentiate TAK and GCA. Our results suggested the importance of considering the effects of age on serum cytokines.
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