Rheumatoid arthritis (RA) is a common rheumatic disease in Caucasians and in other ethnic groups. Diagnosis is mainly based on clinical features. Before 1998, the only serological laboratory test that could contribute to the diagnosis was that for rheumatoid factor (RF). The disease activity markers for the evaluation of clinical symptoms or treatment outcome were the erythrocyte sedimentation rate (ESR) and C-reactive protein (CRP). As a matter of fact, the diagnosis of early RA is quite impossible, as the clinical criteria are insufficient at the beginning stage of the disease. In 1998, Schelleken reported that a high percentage of RA patients had a specific antibody that could interact with a synthetic peptide which contained the amino acid citrulline. The high specificity (98%) for RA of this new serological marker, anti-cyclic citrullinated antibody (anti-CCP antibody), can be detected early in RA, before the typical clinical features appear. The presence or absence of this antibody can easily distinguish other rheumatic diseases from RA. Additionally, the titer of anti-CCP can be used to predict the prognosis and treatment outcome after DMARDs or biological therapy. Therefore, with improvement of sensitivity, the anti-CCP antibody will be widely used as a routine laboratory test in the clinical practice for RA.
|Number of pages||7|
|Publication status||Published - 2007|
- Journal Article