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Open Access Research article

Diagnostic value of antibodies against a modified citrullinated vimentin in rheumatoid arthritis

Christian Dejaco12, Werner Klotz1, Heike Larcher1, Christina Duftner1, Michael Schirmer2 and Manfred Herold1*

Author Affiliations

1 Clinical Department of Internal Medicine, Division of General Internal Medicine, Innsbruck Medical University, Anichstrasse 35, 6020 Innsbruck, Austria

2 General Hospital of the Elizabethenians, Voelkermarkterstrasse 15-19, 9020 Klagenfurt, Austria

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Arthritis Research & Therapy 2006, 8:R119  doi:10.1186/ar2008

Published: 19 July 2006

Abstract

Antibodies directed against citrullinated vimentin are members of the family of autoantibodies reactive with citrullinated proteins and are among the most specific serological markers for the diagnosis of rheumatoid arthritis (RA). This study was performed to test the diagnostic value of a newly developed enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA) for the detection of antibodies against a genetically modified citrullinated vimentin (anti-MCV) in comparison with a second-generation anti-cyclic citrullinated peptides (anti-CCP2) ELISA test system. Blinded sera from 631 patients (409 consecutive out-patients and 222 randomly selected stored sera) with RA (n = 164) and non-RA (osteoarthritis [n = 120], polymyalgia rheumatica/giant cell arteritis [n = 80], spondyloarthritis [n = 36], and other inflammatory rheumatic or non-inflammatory disease [n = 67]) were tested for the presence of anti-MCV and anti-CCP2 antibodies according to the manufacturers' instructions. The diagnostic performance of the anti-MCV was comparable with the anti-CCP2 assay for the diagnosis of RA according to the calculated area under the curve (0.824; 95% confidence interval (CI) 0.778–0.870 versus 0.818; 95% CI 0.767–0.869) as analysed by receiving operating characteristic curve. When categorised with a cutoff value of 20.0 U/ml (as recommended by the manufacturer), sensitivity and specificity of the anti-MCV ELISA were 69.5% (95% CI 61.9%–76.5%) and 90.8% (86.9%–93.8%), respectively, compared with 70.1% (62.5%–77.0%) and 98.7% (96.7%–99.6%) of the anti-CCP2 assay. Using the cutoff values of 19.0 U/ml and 81.5 U/ml for the anti-MCV test to obtain a sensitivity and specificity identical to the anti-CCP2 assay, showed a reduced specificity (89.8%; 85.8%–92.9%) and sensitivity (53.7%; 45.7%–61.5%), respectively, of the anti-MCV ELISA compared with the anti-CCP2 test. In conclusion, the serum ELISA testing for anti-MCV antibodies as well as the anti-CCP-2 assay perform comparably well in the diagnosis of RA. In the high-specificity range, however, the anti-CCP2 assay appears to be superior to the anti-MCV test.