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Objective To investigate anti-modified citrullinated vimentin (anti-MCV) in early rheumatoid arthritis (RA), including correlation with disease activity and cardiovascular risk factors, compared with anti-cyclic citrullinated peptides (anti-CCP3).
Methods Anti-MCV and anti-CCP3 concentrations were measured in 100 patients with early RA and 100 healthy controls at baseline to determine sensitivity and specificity. Patients received methotrexate (MTX) 0.2 mg/kg/week plus prednisone 10 mg/day. Anti-MCV, anti-CCP3, rheumatoid factor (RF), Disease Activity Score for 28 joints (DAS-28), lipid profile, erythrocyte sedimentation rate (ESR), high-sensitivity C-reactive protein assay (hsCRP), homeostasis model assessment for insulin resistance (HOMA-IR) index, tumor necrosis factor-α (TNF-α), interleukin 6 (IL-6), and carotid intima-media thickness (cIMT) were measured before and after 12 months of treatment.
Results The sensitivity and specificity for anti-MCV antibody were 75% and 90%, respectively, and for anti-CCP3 antibody 71% and 96%. Serum anti-MCV and serum anti-CCP3 levels at baseline were positively correlated with hsCRP, IL-6, HOMA-IR index, serum RF levels (p < 0.001), and cIMT (p < 0.05). Serum anti-MCV was positively correlated with serum anti-CCP3 levels. There were significant positive correlations between the percentage of changes of anti-MCV levels versus changes in DAS-28, ESR, hsCRP, atherogenic ratios (TC/HDL-C and LDL-C/HDL-C), apolipoprotein A-I, IL-6, TNF-α, HOMA-IR index, and cIMT. These correlations were not found between changes in anti-CCP3 levels compared to clinical, laboratory, and radiological variables.
Conclusion Anti-MCV was as sensitive as anti-CCP3 in diagnosing early RA. Anti-MCV testing appears to be useful for monitoring associated subclinical atherosclerosis in early RA.