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Clin Exp Rheumatol. 2005 Jul-Aug;23(4):475-81.

A retrospective study of the fluctuation in serum levels of anti-cyclic citrullinated peptide antibody in patients with rheumatoid arthritis.

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Department of Clinical Immunology, Clinical Research Institute, International Medical Center of Japan, Shinjuku-ku, Tokyo, Japan.



To investigate the fluctuation in serum levels of anti-cyclic citrullinated peptide antibody (anti-CCP) retrospectively in patients with rheumatoid arthritis (RA).


Serum levels of anti-CCP were measured retrospectively in 131 patients with RA and 90 patients with non-RA rheumatic diseases using a commercially available kit. All sera were collected from patients during the 22-year period, 1982-2004. To analyze the fluctuation in anti-CCP levels, 17 RA patients were selected on the basis of showing a significantly higher anti-CCP level in a serum sample taken at the first visit (> 80 U/ml), and availability of preserved serum samples that had been taken from each patient at 10 time points.


The test gave a sensitivity of 88% (115/131) and a specificity of 81% (73/90). The longitudinal study of 17 RA patients showed that anti-CCP levels were elevated at the first visit in 12 (71%) patients and then decreased gradually, whereas those in the other five (29%) patients fluctuated substantially. In both cases, anti-CCP levels tended to fluctuate in parallel with the erythrocyte sedimentation rate (ESR) and C-reactive protein (CRP) level, reflecting the spontaneous aggravation of arthritis and the efficacy of anti-rheumatic drugs. The courses of three representative RA patients are illustrated in detail along with their therapeutic regimens, and these further confirm the correlation of anti-CCP levels with laboratory parameters (ESR and CRP) as well as the activity of arthritis.


Measurement of serum anti-CCP levels was found to be useful for not only the diagnosis but also the management of RA.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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