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A Retrospective Study: The Significance of Combined Testing of Serum Markers for Diagnosis of Rheumatoid Arthritis

Fangxiang Mu, Hong Wu, Yong Wang

Department of Rheumatology, Southwest Hospital, Third Military Medical University, Chongqing, China (mainland)

Med Sci Monit Basic Res 2017; 23:295-303

DOI: 10.12659/MSMBR.904563

Available online: 2017-08-31

Published: 2017-08-31


BACKGROUND: There have been few studies on the value of various antibody combinations in rheumatoid arthritis (RA) diagnosis, and a lack of studies with large sample sizes, especially in the Chinese population. This study retrospectively evaluated the diagnostic value of a combined assay of five auto-antibodies [anti-cyclic citrullinated peptide (anti-CCP), anti-keratin (AKA), anti-RA 33, glucose-6-phosphate isomerase (GPI), and rheumatoid factor (RF)] for RA.
MATERIAL AND METHODS: Data were obtained from 5,725 patients with rheumatic diseases in Southwest Hospital of Chongqing from 2011 to 2014. Detection of the five serological markers was performed for all study patients using the appropriate method for each antibody.
RESULTS: It was found that of the 5,725 patients, the positive rates for RF, anti-CCP, anti-RA 33, AKA, and GPI were 52.5%, 40.1%, 12.8%, 12.0%, and 50.0% respectively. In RA patients, the positive rates were 83.3%, 68.5%, 16.6%, 20.8%, and 77.9% respectively, which were all significantly higher than those detected in patients with the other diseases (p<0.01). The areas under the receiver operator characteristic (ROC) curve for RF, anti-CCP, anti-RA 33, AKA, and GPI were 0.857, 0.831, 0.528, 0.602, and 0.822 respectively, indicating that these five serological markers display favorable diagnostic value for RA. There were positive correlations between anti-CCP antibody and RF and GPI (p<0.01) and between RF and GPI (p<0.01), but no correlation between anti-RA 33 and AKA (p<0.01). The specificity of the combination of anti-CCP, AKA, and GPI was 100% for RA diagnosis.
CONCLUSIONS: The combined assay of serological markers significantly improved the diagnostic specificity for RA. The diagnostic value of RF for RA was the highest and the combined assay for anti-CCP, AKA, and GPI had the highest specificity for RA diagnosis.

Keywords: Arthritis, Rheumatoid, Biological Markers, Rheumatoid Factor, Sensitivity and Specificity