The potential roles for novel biomarkers in rheumatoid arthritis assessment

Clin Exp Rheumatol. 2011 May-Jun;29(3):567-74. Epub 2011 Jun 30.


Comprehensive management of rheumatoid arthritis (RA) requires regular monitoring of disease activity, functional status, and structural damage to facilitate optimal patient outcomes. Tight control strategies have been successfully used in other diseases including diabetes and hypertension. Tight control requires frequent disease activity measurements in order to tailor treatment for individual patients, resulting in improved patient outcomes. Current monitoring measures used in clinical practice are largely driven by subjective evaluation of signs and symptoms, which are critical but limited by assessor variability and may not reflect true biological change in a timely manner. Research suggests that novel biomarkers may provide quantitative, objective assessments of disease activity and structural damage risk in RA, which are not captured by current measures. The simultaneous use of multiple biomarkers in a single test algorithm may provide a more comprehensive quantitative representation of the overall complex heterogeneous biology of RA. This article reviews the current management strategies for monitoring RA and the potential impact that multi-biomarker assays may have on RA assessment, which may further improve clinical outcomes.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Arthritis, Rheumatoid / diagnosis*
  • Arthritis, Rheumatoid / metabolism*
  • Autoantibodies / metabolism
  • Biomarkers / metabolism
  • Disease Progression
  • Genetic Markers
  • Humans
  • Inflammation Mediators / metabolism
  • Monitoring, Physiologic / methods*
  • Severity of Illness Index*


  • Autoantibodies
  • Biomarkers
  • Genetic Markers
  • Inflammation Mediators