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Antibodies Predict Course of Early Arthritis

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Measuring levels of antibodies against cyclic citrullinated peptide (CCP) help predict future disease activity in patients with early rheumatoid arthritis, Swedish researchers report in the Annals of the Rheumatic Diseases.

In fact, lead investigator Dr. Thomas Skogh told Reuters Health that the findings confirm that the “anti-CCP antibody test is as sensitive as rheumatoid factor but a more specific diagnostic marker for recent onset rheumatoid arthritis.”Skogh and colleagues at Linkoping University evaluated anti-CCP antibodies as a predictor of the course of rheumatoid arthritis over a period of three years.The researchers studied data for 242 patients who had had rheumatoid arthritis symptoms for more than six weeks, but for less than a year. The patients’ blood samples were obtained regularly and tested for anti-CCP antibodies and for rheumatoid factor.Overall, anti-CCP testing correctly diagnosed the disease 64 percent of the time. As the proportion of positive tests increased, so did the number of fulfilled diagnostic criteria for rheumatoid arthritis.The anti-CCP results correlated with those of rheumatoid factor testing but they were more effective in predicting “a more aggressive disease course,” the investigators report.”The anti-CCP antibody test is an excellent diagnostic marker of early rheumatoid arthritis and a better prognostic marker than rheumatoid factor,” Skogh concluded.(Source: Reuters, Annals of the Rheumatic Diseases, September 2004.)

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Posted On: 24 September, 2004
Modified On: 7 December, 2013


Created by: myVMC