High Levels of Interferon-Alpha Identifies Lupus Patients At Risk for Relapse

October 7, 2019

A new study published in Annals of the Rheumatic Diseases found that among people with lupus, high levels of the protein interferon-alpha, a substance in the immune system that fights viruses, predicts risk of relapse among people in remission.

The study looked at 254 people with lupus who were in remission according to an accepted definition of what constitutes “remission.”  The levels of interferon-alpha were compared in patients at the beginning of the study and after one year. Two widely accepted evaluation tools were used to measure the time between remission and relapse.

The researchers found that high levels of interferon-alpha were associated with a shorter time to relapse. They concluded that using the highly sensitive computerized biochemical test would allow clinicians to identify a subgroup of lupus patients who were in remission but at higher risk of relapse.