Background: Patients with end-stage renal disease (ESRD) and on hemodialysis (HD) are at increased risk for developing rheumatoid arthritis (RA), as a result of defective immunity. Our aim was to examine if ESRD and the length of HD treatment impact the clinical utility of antibodies to cyclic citrullinated peptides (anti-CCP) and rheumatoid factor (RF) as diagnostic tools for RA.
Methods: We included 94 subjects in our study: 37 healthy volunteers and 57 patients with ESRD who had been undergoing HD for 1–12 years, and without confirmed RA. In order to test our hypothesis, we measured and correlated anti-CCP and RF as laboratory markers of RA.
Results: Our study showed that there is no significant difference between values for anti-CCP (p=0.11) and RF (p=0.98) in control subjects as well as in patients undergoing HD, regardless of the length of time that patients had been undergoing HD treatment.
Conclusions: Our study indicates that HD does not impair the specificity of anti-CCP and RF for RA in patients where the disease has not yet developed. Future prospective studies may show whether there is any use in determinating RF, and especially anti-CCP, as early predictors of RA in patients with ESRD who are at greater risk of developing this condition.
Clin Chem Lab Med 2009;47:959–62.
©2009 by Walter de Gruyter Berlin New York