Objectives COMP is a pentameric protein of five identical disulfide-linked subunits and belongs to the thrombospondin family of proteins. It is proposed to be a marker of cartilage degradation and may be correlated to disease activity with respect to joint destruction in patients with RA+ and osteo-arthritis. The concentration of COMP in serum may decrease due to effective treatment of RA+.
sCD44v5 has been described in patients with erosive RA+ and in patients with (longstanding) psoriatic arthtitis. It has been proposed to be a (slow acting) marker of disease activity and disease prognosis. The influence of different therapeutic procedures on sCD44v5 serum levels has been described. We were searching for correlations of sCD44v5 and COMP in the course of disease of patients with erosive RA.
Methods Serum levels of COMP and sCD44v5 were measured in 53 patients with RA+ (Steinbrocker stages II-IV, duration of disease >2 years). Follow up measurements were performed 8 times always after 3 months. Additionally routine laboratory monitoring and clinical assessment of the disease status were performed. ELISA-tests were used to detect COMP- and sCD44v5-serum levels.
Results In our 53 patients with RA+ we could find significant correlations of COMP and sCD44v5 (p < 0,0001), of COMP and rheumatoid factor measurements (RF) (p < 0,006), of sCD44v5 and RF (p < 0,0001), of sCD44v5 and erythrocyte sedimentation rate (ESR) (p < 0,003), and of sCD44v5 and (a modified) Ritchie-Index (p = 0,05).
Conclusion To interpret the implications of our preliminary results with reference to disease activity, cartilage destruction, disease progression and prognosis under different therapeutic procedures in patients with RA+, further studies are necessary.
(Supported by “ Vienna Bürgermeister-Fond” No.1452).
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