Which measure of inflammation to use? A comparison of erythrocyte sedimentation rate and C-reactive protein measurements from randomized clinical trials of golimumab in rheumatoid arthritis

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Abstract

Objective. To assess clinical utility of measurements of C-reactive protein (CRP) versus Westergren erythrocyte sedimentation rate (ESR) in evaluating patients with rheumatoid arthritis (RA). Methods. Data from 3 randomized clinical trials of golimumab involving 1247 patients with RA in which ESR and CRP were obtained at baseline and Week 24, along with standard measures of clinical disease activity [swollen and tender joint counts, global disease activity assessment, composite Disease Activity Scores (DAS) and Clinical Disease Activity Index (CDAI)], were utilized. Result. Both ESR and CRP were significant predictors of swollen joint count (p < 0.001 for each). Only 4.5% of patients with no swollen joints had elevated CRP and normal ESR, but 15.2% had elevated ESR and normal CRP. ESR and CRP correlated significantly (Pearson r = 0.59, p < 0.001) with each other. DAS-ESR and DAS-CRP were highly correlated (r = 0.96, p < 0.001) with each other, although DAS-ESR values were slightly lower than the DAS-CRP values at the upper end of the range (DAS > 8). Both ESR and CRP were significantly associated with CDAI (p < 0.001 for each). Conclusion. It is not necessary to obtain both ESR and CRP measures for clinical disease activity assessment in clinical trials of RA. Neither test adds significantly to clinical measures of disease activity including joint counts and global assessments. Where available, the CRP alone may be preferred for disease activity assessment as a simple, validated, reproducible, non age-dependent test. The Journal of Rheumatology

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1606-1610
Number of pages5
JournalJournal of Rheumatology
Volume36
Issue number8
DOIs
StatePublished - Aug 1 2009

Keywords

  • Acute-phase reactants
  • Outcome and process assessment
  • Rheumatoid arthritis

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Rheumatology
  • Immunology and Allergy
  • Immunology

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