Circulating CTRP9 Is Associated With Severity of Systemic Sclerosis–Associated Interstitial Lung Disease

Monica M. Yang*, Lauren C. Balmert, Roberta Goncalves Marangoni, Mary Carns, Monique E Hinchcliff, Benjamin Douglas Korman, John Varga

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Scopus citations


Objective: While interstitial lung disease (ILD) is the leading cause of morbidity and mortality in systemic sclerosis (SSc), there remains a paucity of predictive markers to assess disease progression. We previously demonstrated that adipose tissue metabolism and adipokine homeostasis is dysregulated in SSc. The present study was undertaken to determine the association and predictive ability of the novel adipokine C1q/tumor necrosis factor–related protein 9 (CTRP9) for SSc-associated ILD. Methods: We performed a retrospective longitudinal study utilizing the Northwestern Scleroderma Program Patient Registry and Biorepository. Serum levels of CTRP9 were measured in 110 SSc patients at baseline, and demographic, clinical, and pulmonary function test data were collected in 12-month intervals to 48 months. Longitudinal trajectory of forced vital capacity percent predicted (FVC%) was used as a primary outcome measure. We utilized a mixed model to compare trajectories of lung function by CTRP9 groups and performed latent trajectory analysis to accommodate for heterogeneity. Results: In cross-sectional analysis, elevated circulating CTRP9 was associated with significantly lower FVC% at baseline (72% ± 17 versus 80% ± 18; P = 0.02) and 48 months (68 ± 19 versus 84 ± 18; P = 0.001). In mixed model analysis, high CTRP9 was associated with worse lung function but not with a different trajectory (P = 0.23). In contrast, low CTRP9 identified patients with stability of lung disease with reasonable accuracy (sensitivity 73%). Latent trajectory analysis confirmed the association of lower CTRP9 with higher FVC%. Conclusion: Higher circulating CTRP9 associated with worse pulmonary function, while low CTRP9 identified patients with lung disease stability over time. These findings suggest that CTRP9 may be a potential biomarker in SSc-associated ILD.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)152-157
Number of pages6
JournalArthritis Care and Research
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 2023

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Rheumatology


Dive into the research topics of 'Circulating CTRP9 Is Associated With Severity of Systemic Sclerosis–Associated Interstitial Lung Disease'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this