The presence of 3 common rheumatoid arthritis-associated antibodies is not associated with erosive disease in patients with hand osteoarthritis (OA), according to results from a study published in The Journal of Rheumatology.

Researchers measured rheumatoid factor (RF), anticitrullinated protein antibodies (ACPA), and anticarbamylated protein (anti-CarP) levels in sera of patients with hand OA and healthy controls. The prevalence of antibodies was compared between the group with erosive and the group with nonerosive hand OA. In addition, autoantibody levels were compared between the group with disease and the healthy control group. A total of 580 patients with hand OA and 196 control patients were studied.

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After antibody sera analysis, investigators found the prevalence of all tested antibodies was low in patients with OA (anti-CarP, 7.1%; ACPA, 0.8%; RF, 6.1%). Further, no significant differences were seen between the disease and control groups (anti-CarP, P =.08; ACPA, P =.37; RF, P =.30) or erosive and nonerosive hand OA groups (anti-CarP, P =.69; RF, P =.53).

A key limitation of the study was that patients with OA and healthy controls were not age or sex matched.

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“The prevalence of autoantibodies is similar in patients [with hand OA] and [healthy controls], and these autoantibodies are not associated with erosive disease, structural damage, or inflammation in patients with [hand OA], indicating that another mechanism is driving erosive disease,” the researchers wrote.

Further studies are needed to fully understand the pathophysiology of erosive hand OA.

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van Delft MAM, van Beest S, Kloppenburg M, Trouw LA, Ioan-Facsinay A. Presence of autoantibodies in erosive hand osteoarthritis and association with clinical presentation [published online September 15, 2018]. J Rheumatol. doi:10.3899/jrheum.180256