Asthma has a high burden of morbidity if not controlled and may frequently complicate pregnancy, posing a risk for pregnancy outcomes. Elevated plasma level of the inflammatory biomarker soluble urokinase plasminogen activator receptor (suPAR) is related to a worse prognosis in many conditions such as infectious, autoimmune, or pregnancy-related diseases; however the value of suPAR in asthma and asthmatic pregnancy is unknown. The present study aimed to investigate the suPAR, CRP and IL-6 levels in asthma (asthmatic non-pregnant, ANP; N = 38; female N = 27) and asthmatic pregnancy (AP; N = 15), compared to healthy non-pregnant controls (HNP; N = 29; female N = 19) and to healthy pregnant women (HP; N = 58). The relationship between suPAR levels and asthma control was also evaluated. The diagnostic efficacy of suPAR in asthma control was analyzed using ROC analysis. IL-6 and CRP levels were comparable in all study groups. Circulating suPAR levels were lower in HP and AP than in HNP and ANP subjects, respectively (2.01 [1.81-2.38] and 2.39 [2.07-2.69] vs. 2.60 [1.82-3.49] and 2.84 [2.33-3.72] ng/mL, respectively, p = 0.0001). suPAR and airway resistance correlated in ANP (r = 0.47, p = 0.004). ROC analysis of suPAR values in ANP patients with PEF above and below 80% yielded an AUC of 0.75 (95% CI: 0.57-0.92, p = 0.023) and with ACT total score above and below 20 an AUC of 0.80 (95% CI: 0.64-0.95, p = 0.006). The cut-off value of suPAR to discriminate between controlled and not controlled AP and ANP was 4.04 ng/mL. In conclusion, suPAR may help the objective assessment of asthma control, since it correlates with airway resistance and has good sensitivity in the detection of impaired asthma control. Decrease in circulating suPAR levels detected both in healthy and asthmatic pregnant women presumably represents pregnancy induced immune tolerance
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