Journal of translational medicine 2017 10 2715(1) 219 doi 10.1186/s12967-017-1321-6
GlycA is a novel spectroscopic marker of systemic inflammation with low intra-individual variability and other attributes favoring its clinical use in patients with chronic inflammatory and autoimmune diseases. GlycA is unique in its composite nature, reflecting both increased glycan complexity and circulating acute phase protein levels during local and systemic inflammation. Recent studies of GlycA from cross-sectional, observational and interventional studies have been highly informative, demonstrating that GlycA is elevated in acute and chronic inflammation, predicts death in healthy individuals and is associated with disease severity in patients with chronic inflammatory diseases such as rheumatoid arthritis, psoriasis and lupus. Moreover, following treatment with biological therapy in psoriasis, reduction in skin disease severity was accompanied by a decrease in GlycA levels and improvement in vascular inflammation.
Collectively, these findings suggest GlycA is a marker that tracks systemic inflammation and subclinical vascular inflammation. However, larger prospective studies and randomized trials are necessary in order to assess the impact of novel therapies on GlycA in patients with chronic inflammatory conditions, which may be concomitant with cardiovascular benefits.