Objectives The aim of the study is to demonstrate the important role played by rheumatoid factor (RF), C reactive protein (CRP) and anti-philaggrin antibodies (APA) in the early diagnosis and in the follow-up of rheumatoid arthritis (RA).
Methods Twelve patients were included in our study, all in an early stage of the disease, accomplishing the ARA criteria for the classification of RA. We tested the levels of RF, CRP and APA and we evaluated on the X-ray the erosions according to the Larsen score.
Results The RF was present in 80% of the cases while CRP was present in 100% and APA only in 38%. However the APA have a specificity of 100% for RA and a strong correlation with the presence of HLA DR1. The high levels of RF and CRP are best associated with the presence and progression of the erosive lesions, the presence of the rheumatoid nodules and of the systemic involvement. CRP can be considered as a very good prognosis factor in the follow-up of RA.
Conclusion RF and CRP are highly important factors in assessing of the evolutivity of the radiological lesions and in the follow-up of RA, while APA have a high specificity for RA and their presence is less correlated with the severity of the disease and more with an early diagnosis, before the ARA criteria of classification would be fulfilled.
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