The urinary excretion of sialic-acid-containing oligosaccharides, total sialic acid, serum amyloid A protein (SAA), and C-reactive protein (CRP) has been studied in 48 patients with rheumatoid arthritis (RA) and in 17 patients with systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE). Linear regression analysis revealed a close positive correlation between serum SAA and CRP levels in both RA (r = 0.71, p less than 0.001) and SLE (r = 0.86, p less than 0.001). The urinary excretion of sialyl lactose showed a positive correlation with the serum levels of SAA and CRP in RA (r = 0.45 and r = 0.45, respectively, p less than 0.01) but not in SLE (r = 0.05 and r = 0.10 respectively). Changes in serum total sialic acid levels paralleled those in CRP and SAA in RA as well as in SLE. Patients with very active RA had higher urinary sialyl oligosaccharide excretion (p less than 0.001), higher CRP levels (p less than 0.01), and higher SAA levels ( p less than 0.05) than those with moderately active disease.
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