Anti-CCP in systemic lupus erythematosus patients: A cross sectional study in Brazilian patients

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Clinical Rheumatology
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Skare T.L.
Nisihara R.
Barbosa B.B.
Da Luz A.
Utiyama S.
Picceli V.
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Recently, it has been found that some lupus patients may have anti-cyclic citrullinated peptide antibodies (anti-CCP), although the clinical significance of such finding is not well established. Systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE) patients may have joint complaints that are very similar to those observed in rheumatoid arthritis (RA). In early stages of disease, this form of arthritis can be difficult to differentiate from RA, so it is not rare that some SLE patients are initially misdiagnosed to have this disease. This study aims to investigate the prevalence of anti-CCP in SLE patients from Southern Brazil and its association with clinical and serological profiles. One hundred nine SLE patients were studied for anti-CCP and compared with data of 156 RA patients and 100 healthy volunteers. Comparison of clinical and autoantibody profile of anti-CCP-positive and anti-CCP-negative SLE patients was done. All SLE patients positive of anti-CCP were submitted to hand and feet X-rays. Anti-CCP was positive in 15 of 109 SLE patients, and one of them had confirmed the diagnosis of rhupus. This prevalence was significantly higher than in healthy controls (p = 0.0004) and lower than in RA patients (p < 0.0001). No relationship could be found with clinical profile, including joint complaints. SLE patients with anti-CCP had higher prevalence of anti-Ro (p = 0.02) and anti-La (p = 0.004) autoantibodies, in comparison with those negative to anti-CCP. We found that 13.7 % of Brazilian patients with SLE have positive anti-CCP. Patients with anti-CCP showed higher prevalence of anti-Ro and anti-La autoantibodies than those negative for anti-CCP. Only a careful and prolonged follow-up will reveal the real clinical value of these markers in each patient individually. © 2013 Clinical Rheumatology.
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