Antibody Detects, Predicts Rheumatoid Arthritis Outcome

Test for CCP antibodies allows early detection, even in seronegative patients

FRIDAY, April 21 (HealthDay News) -- A second generation anti-cyclic citrullinated peptide (anti-CCP2) antibody test is useful for early detection of rheumatoid arthritis and may predict radiographic and functional outcomes, according to a report in the April issue of Rheumatology.

Mark A. Quinn and colleagues from Chapel Allerton Hospital in Leeds, U.K., used questionnaires and X-rays to assess the function of 182 rheumatoid arthritis patients and 121 connective tissue disease controls at 0, 12 and 24 months after anti-CCP2 antibody levels were measured.

The investigators found the test demonstrated a specificity of 91 percent and a sensitivity of 81 percent compared with controls. The CCP2 also predicted disease and poor functional response in rheumatoid factor-negative subgroups where the specificity was 92 percent and the sensitivity was 60 percent.

Early detection of rheumatoid arthritis is crucial to treatment of the disease since early intervention has a disproportionate effect on outcome, the authors indicate. "This study confirms the diagnostic utility of anti-CCP2 antibodies in early rheumatoid arthritis, particularly in seronegative patients, in whom anti-CCP2 positivity also conferred prognostic utility for radiographic and functional outcomes," they conclude.

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