Objectives: Insulin-like growth factor-1 may serve some regulatory function in the immune system. Rheumatic mitral stenosis is related to autoimmune heart valve damage after streptococcal infection. The aim of this study was to assess the level of insulin-like growth factor-1 and its correlation with the Wilkins score in patients with rheumatic mitral stenosis. Methods: A total of 65 patients with rheumatic mitral stenosis and 62 age- and sex-matched control subjects were enrolled in this study. All subjects underwent transthoracic echocardiography. The mitral valve area and Wilkins score were evaluated for all patients. Biochemical parameters and serum insulin-like growth factor-1 levels were measured. Results: Demographic data were similar in the rheumatic mitral stenosis and control groups. The mean mitral valve area was 1.6 +/- 0.4 cm(2) in the rheumatic mitral stenosis group. The level of insulin-like growth factor-1 was significantly higher in the rheumatic mitral stenosis group than in the control group (104 (55.6-267) versus 79.1 (23.0-244.0) ng/ml; p = 0.039). There was a significant moderate positive correlation between insulin-like growth factor-1 and thickening of leaflets score of Wilkins (r = 0.541, p < 0.001). Conclusions: The present study demonstrated that serum insulin-like growth factor-1 levels were significantly higher in the rheumatic mitral stenosis group compared with control subjects and that insulin-like growth factor-1 level was also correlated with the Wilkins score. It can be suggested that there may be a link between insulin-like growth factor-1 level and immune pathogenesis of rheumatic mitral stenosis.