Benefits of anticitrullinated peptides examination in rheumatoid arthritis
Background: Anti‑citrullinated peptides antibodies (ACPA) are specific for rheumatoid arthritis and have been implicated in disease pathogenesis. ACPA examination is a new component of ACR/EULAR 2010 classification criteria for rheumatoid arthritis. ACPA positivity predicts a more erosive disease course with severe joint damage and extra‑articular manifestations.
Objectives: To evaluate the benefits of ACPA examination in patients with early undifferentiated arthritis and patients with rheumatoid arthritis.
Methods: We examined patients with arthritis and tested them for ACPA positivity. In every individual patient we evaluated if ACPA examination was necessary to establish the diagnosis of rheumatoid arthritis, or to change treatment, or if the diagnosis could have been established without ACPA examination (ACR/EULAR 2010 classification criteria was met without ACPA scoring).
Results and Conclusions: The study was placed in Slovak Republic. We examined 833 patients with arthritis. There were 43 patients, or 62% of a subgroup of 69 who were ACPA positive whose ACPA examination was not needed—ACR/EULAR criteria was met without ACPA scoring. This number represents 5.1% of the total number examined. There were 15 patients, or 22% of the subgroup and 1.8% of the total whose diagnosis was revised to rheumatoid arthritis due to ACPA positivity—ACR/EULAR criteria were met solely with ACPA scoring. There were 11 patients (16% and 1.3%) whose medication was changed due to ACPA positivity. ACPA examination is useful in 3.1% of all examined patients. When we correlate data on ACPA positive patients, 38% of the patients profit from ACPA examinations. Considering the relatively low price of ACPA testing, this examination should not be excluded.
Keywords: ACR/EULAR 2010 classification criteria, anti‑citrullinated peptides antibodies, rheumatoid arthritis