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Blood test can predict rheumatoid arthritis before symptoms arise
Date:1/27/2010

ed, the team conducted a nested casecontrol study within the Medical Biobank of Northern Sweden. Blood samples were analyzed from 86 individuals before the appearance of symptoms of RA (pre-patients), from 69 of the pre-patients after the onset of RA, and from 256 matched control subjects (1:3 ratio). A consecutive time-dependent involvement of the immune system in disease development and progression was evaluated. The plasma levels of 30 cytokines, related factors, and chemokines were measured using a multiplex system. Individuals in whom RA subsequently developed were discriminated from control subjects mainly by the presence of Th1 cell-, Th2 cell-, and Treg cellrelated cytokines, while chemokines, stromal cellderived cytokines, and angiogenic-related markers separated patients after the development of RA from individuals before the onset of RA.

"We observed a clear relationship between cytokines related not only to Th1, Th2, and Treg cells but also to Th17 and the presence of anti-CCP antibodies, thereby supporting the concept that the immune system was already stimulated and disease was developing toward RA," explains Dr. Rantap-Dahlqvist. Researchers found that blood samples obtained from individuals had elevated concentrations of proinflammatory cytokines, cytokine-related factors, and chemokines, indicating immune system activation prior to any symptoms of joint involvement. "Our findings present an opportunity for better predicting the risk of developing RA and possibly preventing disease progression," concluded Dr. Rantap-Dahlqvist.


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