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CXCL13 predicts long term radiographic status in early rheumatoid arthritis

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OBJECTIVES: Identification of RA patients at a high risk of joint destruction remains challenging. The C-X-C motif chemokine 13 (CXCL13) has previously been suggested as a marker of disease activity in RA. Here, we investigate the potential of plasma CXCL13 as a marker of long-term radiographic status and progression.

METHODS: CXCL13 was measured in plasma from treatment-naïve RA patients (n = 158) with an 11-year follow-up. At baseline, clinical and biochemical DASs were obtained; among these CRP, ESR, DAS in 28 joints with CRP (DAS28CRP), number of swollen joints (SJC28) and radiographic status, evaluated by total Sharp score (TSS). Age- and gender-matched healthy controls (HCs) were included.

RESULTS: CXCL13 was significantly increased at baseline and decreased during treatment; however, it was not reduced to the level in HCs. At baseline, CXCL13 was associated with both CRP and ESR, but not with other markers of disease activity. Baseline CXCL13 was correlated with both TSS and radiographic progression (ΔTSS) at 11 years. With an 89% probability, levels of CXCL13 above 85 pg/ml predicted the risk of a TSS of 5 or above, after 11 years of treatment. Compared with CRP, DAS28CRP, SJC28 and ACPA status, CXCL13 was superior in predicting 11-year joint destruction.

CONCLUSION: In early RA, one single measurement of plasma CXCL13 at baseline is superior to currently used clinical and serological disease markers in the prediction of long-term radiographic status and progression.

Original languageEnglish
JournalRheumatology (Oxford, England)
Issue number6
Pages (from-to)2590-2595
Number of pages6
Publication statusPublished - 30 May 2022

Bibliographical note

© The Author(s) 2021. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of the British Society for Rheumatology. All rights reserved. For permissions, please email:

    Research areas

  • Arthritis, Rheumatoid/drug therapy, Biomarkers, Chemokine CXCL13, Disease Progression, Humans, radiographic changes, inflammation, long-term follow-up, biomarker, RA

ID: 68764069