Association of rheumatoid arthritis treatment response and disease duration with declines in serum levels of IgM rheumatoid factor and anti–cyclic citrullinated peptide antibody

Authors


Abstract

Objective

To examine the association of treatment response and disease duration with changes in rheumatoid factor (RF) and anti–cyclic citrullinated peptide (anti-CCP) antibody levels among patients with rheumatoid arthritis (RA).

Methods

The study sample included 66 RA patients who completed double-blind, randomized clinical protocols and for whom baseline and followup serum samples were available. Anti-CCP and RF levels were measured using commercially available assay kits. Odds ratios (ORs) and 95% confidence intervals (95% CIs) were used to describe the association of response and disease duration with declines in antibody levels.

Results

Patients had a mean ± SD age of 49.9 ± 12.0 years and were predominantly female (n = 51; 77%). The mean ± SD duration between the times at which the baseline and followup serum samples were obtained was 13.7 ± 8.6 months. Among the 64 subjects with positive antibody at baseline, 33 (52%) experienced a ≥25% reduction in the anti-CCP antibody level during the course of treatment, and 35 patients (55%) had a ≥25% reduction in RF. After adjustment for the baseline anti-CCP antibody level, only a shorter disease duration (≤12 months) was significantly associated with a decline in the level of anti-CCP antibody (OR 3.0, 95% CI 1.0–8.8), and no association with treatment response was observed. Conversely, treatment response was the only significant determinant of a decrease in RF levels (OR 3.6, 95% CI 1.2–10.4).

Conclusion

Shorter disease duration predicts greater declines in anti-CCP antibody levels with treatment in RA. Although treatment response is a robust determinant of a decrease in RF, it does not appear to be associated with declines in the anti-CCP antibody level.

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