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Serum hepcidin level is not an independent surrogate biomarker of disease activity or of radiographic progression in rheumatoid arthritis: results from the ESPOIR cohort
  1. Jérémie Sellam1,
  2. Salma Kotti2,
  3. Soraya Fellahi3,4,5,
  4. Jean-Philippe Bastard3,4,5,
  5. Magali Meyer1,
  6. Frédéric Lioté6,
  7. Olivier Meyer7,
  8. Tabassome Simon2,8,
  9. Jacqueline Capeau3,4,5,
  10. Francis Berenbaum1
  1. 1Pierre & Marie Curie Paris VI University, Department of Rheumatology, AP-HP, Saint-Antoine Hospital, Paris, France
  2. 2Unité de Recherche Clinique de l'Est Parisien, AP-HP, Hôpital Saint-Antoine, Paris, France
  3. 3INSERM, UMR_S 938, Faculté de Médecine Saint Antoine, Paris, France
  4. 4UPMC Univ Paris 06, UMR_S 938, Paris, France
  5. 5Department of Biochemistry, AP-HP, Hopital Tenon, Paris, France
  6. 6Department of Rheumatology, University Paris Diderot, Sorbonne Paris Cité, AP-HP, Lariboisière Hospital, Paris, France
  7. 7Department of Rheumatology, Paris Diderot Paris VII University, AP-HP, Bichat Hospital, Paris, France
  8. 8Pierre & Marie Curie Paris VI University, Unité de Recherche Clinique de l'Est Parisien, AP-HP, Hôpital Saint-Antoine, Paris, France
  1. Correspondence to Dr Francis Berenbaum, Rheumatology Department, AP-HP Saint-Antoine Hospital, 184, rue du Faubourg Saint-Antoine, Paris 75012, France; francis.berenbaum{at}

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Hepcidin is an interleukin-6 induced peptide hormone involved in iron metabolism and inflammation.1 Serum hepcidin level may distinguish anaemia due to chronic inflammation and/or iron deficiency in rheumatoid arthritis (RA) patients.2 Furthermore, some studies have suggested that serum hepcidin could reflect disease activity raising its measurement as a new surrogate biomarker of RA.3–6 These studies have several drawbacks (unreliable pro-hormone quantification, small number of patients).7 ,8 Therefore, we assessed the serum level of the mature form of hepcidin by ELISA (Bachem, St Helens, Merseyside, UK) in 791 individuals from the French cohort of early arthritis (ESPOIR) including 632 patients with RA fulfilling the American College of Rheumatology (ACR) - European League Against Rheumatism (EULAR) criteria at inclusion and 159 with undifferentiated arthritis in order to address whether hepcidin accurately reflects RA features, disease activity or radiographic disease progression.9 ,10

Beyond expected differences between RA and undifferentiated arthritis, serum hepcidin level was higher in RA (table 1). Hepcidin level was positively correlated with disease activity score in 28 joints (DAS28)-erythrocyte sedimentation rate at inclusion. However, the only variable used in calculating DAS28 that was correlated …

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