The role of interleukins in the severity and clinical profile of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) is not known, but evidence supports the contribution of systemic inflammation to disease pathophysiology. This study evaluated the relationship of serum biomarkers to the severity and clinical parameters of COPD.
Serum levels of high-sensitivity C-reactive protein, interleukin-6 (IL-6), and interleukin-8 (IL-8) were measured in 50 patients with stable COPD and in 16 controls. The levels of these biomarkers were compared with parameters of severity, such as the grading of flow obstruction using the recommendations of the Global initiative for chronic Obstructive Lung Disease, the BMI (body mass index), obstruction, dyspnea, exercise capacity (health index) index, the number of exacerbations within the last year, and peripheral oxygen saturation after the six-minute walk test, and with clinical parameters, such as bronchitis and non-bronchitis phenotypes, the number of associated comorbidities, and the smoking burden. COPD patients exhibited higher levels of IL-6 and IL-8 compared to the control group. Higher levels of IL-6 occurred in COPD groups with body mass index <21 kg/m 2, with more than two exacerbations in the past year, with a higher smoking burden, and with bronchitis. The increase in serum IL-8 was found only in the group with the highest number of exacerbations within the previous year.