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Clinical and Developmental Immunology
Volume 12, Issue 3, Pages 197-202

The Diagnostic Utility of Anti-cyclic Citrullinated Peptide Antibodies, Matrix Metalloproteinase-3, Rheumatoid Factor, Erythrocyte Sedimentation Rate, and C-reactive Protein in Patients with Erosive and Non-erosive Rheumatoid Arthritis

1Center for Autoimmune Diseases, Department of Medicine ‘B’, Sheba Medical Center, Israel
2Department of Medicine ‘B’ Wolfson Medical Center, Sackler Faculty of Medicine, Tel-Aviv University, Holon, Israel
3Dipartmrnt Di Medicina Clinica e Sperimentale, Universita Di Perugia, Sezione di Medicina Interna e Scienze Oncologiche Policlinico Monteluco, Perugia, Italy
4Incumbent of the Laura Schwarz-Kipp Chair for Research of Autoimmune Diseases, Tel-Aviv University, Tel-Hashomer, Israel

Copyright © 2005 Hindawi Publishing Corporation. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Objective: To compare the diagnostic utility of laboratory variables, including matrix metalloproteinase-3 (MMP-3), anti-cyclic citrullinated peptide (CCP) antibodies, rheumatoid factor (RF), erythrocyte sedimentation rate (ESR), and C-reactive protein (CRP) in patients with erosive and non-erosive rheumatoid arthritis (RA).

Methods: We assembled a training set, consisting of 60 patients with RA, all fulfilling the revised criteria of the American College of Rheumatology. A commercial enzyme linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA) was used both to test for anti-CCP antibodies (second generation ELISA kit) and MMP; RF were detected by latex-enhanced immunonephelometric assay. CRP was measured by latex turbidimetric immunoassay.

Results: The levels of anti-CCP antibody titers and ESR were significantly higher in patients with erosive disease than those in non-erosive RA patients (p < 0.001 and 0.0341) respectively. Moreover, a higher frequency of elevated titers of anti-CCP antibodies was found in RA patients with erosions compared to patients with non-erosive RA (78.3% vs. 43.2% respectively). The ROC curves of anti-CCP passed closer to the upper left corner than those other markers and area under the curve (AUC) of anti-CCP was significantly larger than AUC of other markers (0.755 for anti-CCP, 0.660 for ESR, 0.611 for CRP, 0.577 for RF, and 0.484 for MMP-3 female).

A positive predictive value was higher for anti-CCP antibodies in comparison to other markers. We did not find significant statistical correlation between anti-CCP antibody titers and inflammatory markers such as ESR or CRP. However, we confirmed the correlation of elevated titers of anti-CCP antibodies and RF in both groups of patients whereas the degree of correlation was more significant in non-erosive patients.

Conclusion: The results of our study suggest that the presence of elevated anti-CCP antibody titers have better diagnostic performance than MMP-3, RF, CRP and ESR in patients with erosive RA.