Improvements in treatment strategies during the last 25 years have led to lower disease activity, more sustained drug-free remission, and better physical functioning of rheumatoid arthritis (RA) patients . ACPA-positive patients benefited most from these improvements.
Broadly speaking, RA consists of two distinct disease subtypes that are characterised by the presence or absence of RA-related auto-antibodies, of which the presence of anti-citrullinated protein antibodies (ACPA) is most specific for RA. Both subtypes have known differences in the severity of the disease course, and ACPA-positive and ACPA-negative RA may differ in their treatment responses. “What we all know, is that RA treatment has improved drastically with earlier treatment and better medication,” said Dr Xanthe Matthijssen (Leiden University Medical Center, the Netherlands). “However, the difference in treatment response between these two subtypes is still unclear and treatment guidel...
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