Objective: To estimate the disease activity score (DAS)28-C-reactive protein (CRP) threshold values that correspond to DAS28-erythrocyte sedimentation rate (ESR) values for remission, low disease activity and high disease activity in patients with rheumatoid arthritis.
Methods: DAS28 data were analysed using a large observational study (Institute of Rheumatology Rheumatoid Arthritis) database of 6729 patients with rheumatoid arthritis. Firstly, the relationship between the DAS28-ESR and the DAS28-CRP values was analysed. Secondly, the best DAS28-CRP trade-off values for each threshold were calculated using receiver operating characteristic (ROC) curves.
Results: The correlation coefficient of ESR versus CRP was 0.686, whereas that of DAS28-ESR versus DAS28-CRP was 0.946, showing the strong linear relationship between DAS28-ESR and DAS28-CRP values. DAS28-CRP threshold values corresponding to remission, low disease activity and high disease activity were 2.3, 2.7 and 4.1, respectively. The sensitivity and specificity from the ROC curves were gradually reduced as DAS28 values became lower.
Conclusions: This study showed that DAS28-CRP and DAS28-ESR were well correlated, but the threshold values should be reconsidered. As the results were derived from only Japanese patients, it is essential to compare DAS28-CRP threshold values in people of other ethnic groups.
- CRP, C-reactive protein
- DAS, Disease Activity Score
- ESR, erythrocyte sedimentation rate
- ROC, receiver operating characteristic
- VAS, visual analogue scale
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Funding: This study was financially supported by the research-consortium of 32 pharmaceutical companies.
Competing interests: None declared.
Published Online First 22 August 2006
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