Quest Diagnostics, Madison, NJ, announces the availability of two new blood tests for aiding the early diagnosis of arthritis (RA), an autoimmune disorder that can cause debilitating joint damage.
The lab-developed tests are based on the proprietary 14-3-3eta protein biomarker through an exclusive license agreement for the US market with Augurex Life Sciences, North Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada.
One test provides results of 14-3-3eta blood levels, while a comprehensive panel provides results of blood levels of the novel marker as well as the conventional RA markers cyclic citrullinated peptide (CCP) antibodies and rheumatoid factor (RF). Higher blood levels may suggest a greater likelihood of RA.
“These novel assays have significant potential to help physicians identify early stage RA, when treatment can often arrest further disease progression and disability,” says Stanley J. Naides, MD, FACP, FACR, medical director, Immunology R&D, Quest Diagnostics. “We believe they are superb examples of the potential of diagnostic insights to promote better outcomes through earlier diagnosis and treatment.”
Diagnosis and initiation of treatment of RA within 12 weeks of symptom onset can help prevent joint damage, improve long-term function, and increase the likelihood of achieving disease remission. Yet, many patients are not diagnosed during this time frame, and conventional lab tests, which evaluate blood levels of CCP antibodies and RF, may fail to identify the disease in an early stage.
Physicians may consider results of RF and CCP antibody tests, along with a medical evaluation and X-rays, to diagnose RA. Elevated blood levels of the 14-3-3eta biomarker outperformed conventional RF or CCP antibody testing in a recent study of early RA, being positive in 60-82% of patients diagnosed with RA compared to RF alone (32-82%) or CCP antibody alone (44-82%), according to Quest. The combination of all three markers further increased sensitivity to 72% to 100%. In addition, co-morbid conditions, such as type 1 diabetes, osteoporosis and gout, do not abnormally raise blood levels of 14-3-3eta.
Quest Diagnostics’ advanced clinical laboratory in San Juan Capistrano, Calif, developed, validated, and now offers the new RA tests.
CE credits for clinical laboratory professionals: Earn 1.0 contact hour of continuing education credit. Quest Diagnostics is approved as a provider of continuing education programs in the clinical labratory sciences by the ASCLS P.A.C.E. program
Description: Martin J. Bergman, MD, clinical associate professor of medicine, Drexel University College of Medicine, Philadephia, discusses the seriousness of a diagnosis of rheumatoid arthritis for patients who are afflicted and the appropriate use and limitations of laboratory testing in the diagnosis and monitoring for rheumatoid disease activity.
[Source: Quest Diagnostics]