A new blood test can predict the risk of developing rheumatoid arthritis early, revealed a new study.
A study published in the Annals of Rheumatic Disease found a biomarker that can help in predicting the onset of rheumatoid arthritis before 16 years.
Researchers from the Oxford University's Kennedy Institute of Rheumatology conducted the study in 1,985 Swedish and 287 North American patients with rheumatoid arthritis . Blood samples were collected from these participants and were tested for a particular protein called as citrullinated tenascin-C (cTNC).
‘A new biomarker detects citrullination of tenascin-C, a protein associated with the cause of inflammation in joints of individuals with rheumatoid arthritis.’
Rheumatoid arthritis is caused when the protein called Tenascin-c gets citrullinated and gets accumulated on the joints of the patients.
"We knew that tenascin-C is found at high levels in the joints of people with rheumatoid arthritis. We decided to see if it could be citrullinated and, if so, whether it was a target for the autoantibodies that attack the body in RA. That might also indicate whether it could be used in tests to indicate the disease," said Dr. Anja Schwenzer, a researcher at the University of Oxford.
Results were found to be positive for 47 percent of Swedish patients and 51 percent of North Americans. The authors tested these test results against 160 healthy people and 330 with osteoarthritis and found it to be 98% accurate.
Professor Kim Midwood said, "This discovery gives us an additional test that can be used to increase the accuracy of the CCP assay and that can predict rheumatoid arthritis, enabling us to monitor people and spot the disease early. This is key because early treatment is more effective."
Reference: Anja Schwenzer, Kim S Midwood, "Identification of an immunodominant peptide from citrullinated tenascin-C as a major target for autoantibodies in rheumatoid arthritis," Ann Rheum Dis , doi:10.1136/annrheumdis-2015-208495