Hider, SL, Konstantinou, K, Hay, EM, Glossop, J and Mattey, DL (2019) Inflammatory biomarkers do not distinguish between patients with sciatica and referred leg pain within a primary care population: results from a nested study within the ATLAS cohort. BMC Musculoskeletal Disorders, 20 (1). 202 - 202. ISSN 1471-2474

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There is increasing interest in the role of pro-inflammatory cytokines in the pathogenesis of sciatica and whether these could be potential targets for treatment. We sought to investigate serum biomarker levels in patients with low back-related leg pain, including sciatica.

Primary care consulters aged > 18 with low back-related leg pain were recruited to a cohort study (ATLAS). Participants underwent a standardised clinical assessment, lumbar spine MRI and a subsample (n = 119) had samples taken for biomarker analysis. Participants were classified having: a) clinically confirmed sciatica or referred leg pain, and then subdivided into those with (or without) MRI confirmed nerve root compression due to disc prolapse. Seventeen key cytokines, chemokines and matrix metalloproteinases (MMPs) implicated in sciatica pathogenesis including TNFα and IL-6, were assayed in duplicate using commercial multiplex detection kits and measured using a Luminex suspension array system. Median biomarker levels were compared between the groups using a Mann Whitney U test. Multivariate logistic regression analysis was used to investigate the association between clinical measures and biomarker levels adjusted for possible confounders such as age, sex, and symptom duration.

No difference was found in the serum level of any of the 17 biomarkers tested in patients with (n = 93) or without (n = 26) clinically confirmed sciatica, nor between those with (n = 44) or without (n = 49) sciatica and MRI confirmed nerve root compression.

In this cohort, no significant differences in serum levels of TNFα, IL-6 or any other biomarkers were seen between patients with sciatica and those with back pain with referred leg pain. These results suggest that in patients with low back-related leg pain, serum markers associated with inflammation do not discriminate between patients with or without clinically confirmed sciatica or between those with or without evidence of nerve root compression on MRI.

Item Type: Article
Additional Information: This is the final published version of the article (version of record). It first appeared online via BioMed Central at https://doi.org/10.1186/s12891-019-2604-2 - please refer to any applicable terms of use of the publisher.
Uncontrolled Keywords: Sciatica, Low back pain, Cytokines, TNFα, Radiculopathy
Subjects: R Medicine > RC Internal medicine > RC925 Diseases of the musculoskeletal system
Divisions: Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences > Primary Care Health Sciences
Related URLs:
Depositing User: Symplectic
Date Deposited: 13 May 2019 10:49
Last Modified: 03 Jun 2019 08:47
URI: https://eprints.keele.ac.uk/id/eprint/6320

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