At baseline, 3 and 6 months of treatment the patients were examined for the number swollen and tender joints out of 28 (SJC, TJC) and the visual analogue scale of arthritis activity according to the patient (VAS). Serum samples were tested for erythrocyte sedimentation rate (ESR), C-reactive protein level (CRP), ACPA and RF IgM. The disease activity score (DAS-28) parameter was also calculated at the same time.
During the course of our study, we observed statistically significant improvement in ESR, CRP, TJC, SJC, VAS DAS-28, and RF IgM after 3 and 6 months of infliximab treatment when compared to the baseline, whereas the ACPA level remained unchanged after 3 and 6 months of treatment (P = 0.96 and P = 0.85). The changes in the ACPA level are not a factor for evaluation of successful infliximab treatment but the changes in RF IgM are.
According to different behavior of these antibodies during infliximab treatment, we suggest that the roles of ACPA and RF in the pathogenesis of RA are different.