Antibodies against cyclic citrullinated peptide (CCP) and levels of cartilage oligomeric matrix protein (COMP) in very early arthritis: relation to diagnosis and disease activity

Scand J Rheumatol. 2004;33(3):185-8. doi: 10.1080/03009740310004856.


Objective: To measure serum levels of antibodies against cyclic citrullinated peptide (anti-CCP antibodies) and serum cartilage oligomeric matrix protein (COMP) in patients with early joint inflammation, and to study the correlation of these two tests with clinical measurements.

Methods: Adult patients with recent-onset arthritis, of <3 months' duration, were referred from primary healthcare centres to rheumatologists. Serum levels of anti-CCP antibodies and COMP at baseline were analysed by enzyme immunoassay (EIA) and compared with clinical baseline data.

Results: Sixty-nine patients were included. The specificity of the anti-CCP antibody test for RA was 96%, and the sensitivity was 44%. There was a significant difference between the four diagnosis groups in the anti-CCP antibody test, probability (p)<0.001, whereas no significant differences were found concerning COMP. The baseline serum COMP test correlated with age (p=0.0001), joint score for swollen joints (p=0.02), and C-reactive protein (CRP) (p=0.02).

Conclusion: This study confirms the high diagnostic specificity of anti-CCP antibodies for rheumatoid arthritis (RA) in a prospective population-based study of very early arthritis. Raised serum COMP levels were common in all diagnosis groups in this series, indicating cartilage involvement in both self-limiting and non-erosive disease.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Antibodies / analysis*
  • Antibody Formation
  • Arthritis, Rheumatoid / immunology*
  • Cartilage Oligomeric Matrix Protein
  • Extracellular Matrix Proteins / immunology*
  • Female
  • Glycoproteins / immunology*
  • Humans
  • Immunoenzyme Techniques
  • Male
  • Matrilin Proteins
  • Middle Aged
  • Peptides / immunology
  • Peptides, Cyclic / immunology*
  • Prospective Studies
  • Sensitivity and Specificity


  • Antibodies
  • Cartilage Oligomeric Matrix Protein
  • Extracellular Matrix Proteins
  • Glycoproteins
  • Matrilin Proteins
  • Peptides
  • Peptides, Cyclic
  • TSP5 protein, human
  • cyclic citrullinated peptide