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Anti-cyclic citrullinated peptide antibodies in hepatitis C virus associated rheumatological manifestations and Sjögren’s syndrome
  1. D Sène1,
  2. P Ghillani-Dalbin2,
  3. N Limal1,
  4. V Thibault3,
  5. T van Boekel4,
  6. J-C Piette1,
  7. P Cacoub1
  1. 1Department of Internal Medicine, Hôpital La Pitié-Salpêtrière, Paris, France
  2. 2Department of Immunochemistry, Hôpital La Pitié-Salpêtrière
  3. 3Department of Virology, Hôpital La Pitié-Salpêtrière
  4. 4Research and Development, Euro Diagnostica BV, Harnhem, Netherlands
  1. Correspondence to:
    Professor Patrice Cacoub
    Department of Internal Medicine, Hôpital La Pitié-Salpêtrière, 83 Boulevard de l’Hôpital, 75651 Paris Cedex 13, France; patrice.cacoub{at}


Objective: To investigate the diagnostic reliability of anti-CCP antibodies (anti-CCP Ab) in distinguishing hepatitis C virus (HCV) associated rheumatological manifestations and Sjögren’s syndrome from rheumatoid arthritis.

Methods: 147 HCV infected patients (HCV RNA positive) were compared with 64 patients with definite rheumatoid arthritis in a retrospective study. Anti-CCP Ab were detected using the Immunoscan ELISA kit (second generation) and rheumatoid factor (RF) by the FIDIS™ Rheuma kit.

Results: Among the 147 HCV infected patients (77 women; mean (SD) age 58 (16) years), 77 (52%) had a mixed cryoglobulin (MC), 38 (26%) an MC associated systemic vasculitis, 35 (24%) arthralgia/arthritis, and seven (5%) definite Sjögren’s syndrome. HCV infected patients with arthralgia were more often RF positive than those without arthralgia (54% v 27%; p = 0.003), but less often than patients with rheumatoid arthritis (54% v 81%; p = 0.009). Anti-CCP Ab were detected in only two HCV infected patients with arthralgia (5.7%), in none without arthralgia or with Sjögren’s syndrome, and in 78% of patients with rheumatoid arthritis. With a specificity of 93.5% and a positive predictive value of 96% for rheumatoid arthritis, anti-CCP Ab were the most specific biological marker.

Conclusions: Anti-CCP antibodies are very rarely found in HCV infected patients with rheumatological manifestations or Sjögren’s syndrome. They are reliable serological markers to distinguish these from patients with rheumatoid arthritis.

  • anti-CCP Ab, anti-cyclic citrullinated peptide antibodies
  • AUC, area under the curve
  • HCV, hepatitis C virus
  • MC, mixed cryoglobulin
  • NPV, negative predictive value
  • PPV, positive predictive value
  • RF, rheumatoid factor
  • hepatitis C virus
  • arthritis
  • Sjögren’s syndrome
  • anti-CCP
  • rheumatoid factor

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