High serum concentration of interleukin-18 in diabetic patients with foot ulcers

Sabuncu T., Eren M. A., Tabur S., Dag O. F., Boduroglu O.

Journal of the American Podiatric Medical Association, vol.104, no.3, pp.222-226, 2014 (SCI-Expanded) identifier identifier


Background: It is well known that interleukin-18 (IL-18) plays a key role in the inflammatory process. However, there are limited data on the role IL-18 plays with diabetic foot ulcers, an acute and complex inflammatory situation. Therefore, we aimed to evaluate serum IL-18 levels of diabetic patients with foot ulcers. Methods: Twenty diabetic patients with acute foot ulcers, 21 diabetic patients without a history of foot ulcers, and 21 healthy volunteers were enrolled in our study. Circulating levels of IL-18, and other biochemical markers are parameters of inflammation and were measured in all three groups. Results: Diabetic patients both with and without foot ulcers had high IL-18 concentrations (P, 0.001 and P = 0.020, respectively) when compared with the nondiabetic volunteers. Those with foot ulcers had higher levels of IL-18 level (P, 0.001), high-sensitivity C-reactive protein (hsCRP) (P = 0.001), and erythrocyte sedimentation rate (ESR) (P, 0.001) than those without foot ulcers. Conclusions: We found that serum IL-18 concentrations were elevated in diabetic patients with acute diabetic foot ulcers. However, these findings do not indicate whether the IL-18 elevation is a cause or a result of the diabetic foot ulceration. Further studies are needed to show the role of IL-18 in the course of these ulcers.