Identifying Biomarkers for Diagnosing Immune Thrombocytopenia

A recent study concluded that interleukin (IL)-37, vascular growth factor A (VEGFA), and transforming growth factor-β1 (TGFß1) could be promising and cost-effective biomarkers for diagnosing primary immune thrombocytopenia (ITP) and classification of disease severity. The researchers, led by Dina Samir Elsaid, investigated these biomarkers given their role in immunity, inflammation, and megakaryopoiesis. Their report was published in Expert Review of Hematology.

The study enrolled a total of 60 patients with primary ITP, 60 patients with thrombocytopenia, and 60 healthy volunteers as controls. The researchers used an immunoassay technique to assess IL-37 levels and gene expression of VEGFA and TGFß1.

Compared to the thrombocytopenia and control groups, patients in the primary ITP group displayed increased levels of IL-37 as well as downregulation of VEGFA and TGFß1 gene expression. Additionally, a negative correlation between IL-37 and platelet count was observed in the ITP group. Conversely, however, the investigators found a positive correlation between VEGFA and TGFß1 levels and platelet count.

The study’s collaborators ultimately concluded that all 3 biomarkers could potentially serve as promising indicators for detecting the presence and severity of primary ITP, and they noted the technique was inexpensive given its benefits.