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Arthritis Res Ther. 2008;10(3):208. doi: 10.1186/ar2418. Epub 2008 May 29.

The need for prognosticators in rheumatoid arthritis. Biological and clinical markers: where are we now?

Author information

  • 1Division of Rheumatology, Department of Internal Medicine III, Medical University of Vienna, Waehringer Guertel 18-20, A-1090 Vienna, Austria. josef.smolen@meduniwien.ac.at

Abstract

Rheumatoid arthritis is a heterogeneous disease with respect to clinical manifestations, serologic abnormalities, joint damage and functional impairment. Predicting outcome in a reliable way to allow for strategic therapeutic decision-making as well as for prediction of the response to the various therapeutic modalities available today, especially biological agents, would provide means for optimization of care. In the present article, the current information on biological and clinical markers related to disease activity and joint damage as well as for predictive purposes is reviewed. It will be shown that the relationship of many biomarkers with disease characteristics is confounded by factors unrelated to the disease, and that only few biomarkers exist with some predictive value. Moreover, clinical markers appear of equal value as biomarkers for this purpose, although they likewise have limited capacity in these regards. The analysis suggests the search for better markers to predict outcomes and therapeutic responsiveness in rheumatoid arthritis needs to be intensified.

PMID:
18557991
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
PMCID:
PMC2483438
Free PMC Article

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