Background: The current study aims to investigate the diagnostic value of serum proinflammatory factors, including IL-6, TNF-α, and leptin, in patients with post-traumatic osteoarthritis (PTOA).
Methods: The serum levels of IL-6, TNF-α, and leptin were detected by enzyme linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA). Pearson’s correlation assay was performed to evaluate the correlation between serum levels of IL-6, TNF-α, and leptin. ROC analysis was carried out to explore the diagnostic value of IL-6, TNF-α, and leptin for PTOA patients.
Results: Compared with the control group, the levels of IL-6, TNF-α, and leptin in the serum of patients with PTOA were significantly higher. Moreover, the levels of IL-6, TNF-α, and leptin increased along with Kellgren Lawrence (K-L) grading in patients with PTOA. Pearson’s correlation analysis showed that serum IL-6 was positively correlated with TNF-α and leptin, and TNF-α was positively correlated with leptin. More importantly, the AUC of combined serum IL-6, TNF-α, and leptin levels in PTOA patients was 0.946 with the sensitivity and specificity of 97% and 61%, which was close to the AUC of X-ray results (0.972, with the sensitivity and specificity 63% and 96%).
Conclusions: In summary, combined use of serum TNF-α, IL-6, and leptin levels can act as biomarkers to distinguish between PTOA patients and healthy controls before standard radiography.