Objective: To investigate the potential predictive value of autoantibodies against IL1-alpha (anti-IL-1alpha) in patients with early rheumatoid arthritis (RA).
Method: Anti-IL-1alpha were assessed by radioimmunoassay in sera from 164 patients with early RA.
Results: At baseline, anti-IL-1alpha were detected in 52 (32%) of the patients. After 2 years, the entire patient material showed significant clinical improvement (DAS28, CRP, HAQ, and pain- VAS) while there was an overall radiological progression (Larsen score). The group of patients with anti-IL-1alpha and the group of patients without this antibody showed similar disease development in disease activity, function, and joint destruction and there were no statistically significant differences between the two groups, neither at baseline nor at end-point.
Conclusion: The present data do not lend support to previous observations that anti-IL-1alpha may be a marker for less destructive RA. However, a predictive value of this antibody over longer time periods cannot be ruled out by this two year study.