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1.  Assessment of Helicobacter pylori eradication in patients on NSAID treatment 
BMC Gastroenterology  2012;12:133.
In this post-hoc analysis of a randomized, double blind, placebo controlled trial, we measured the sensitivity and specificity of Helicobacter pylori IgG-antibody titer changes, hematoxylin and eosin (H&E) stains, immunohistochemical (IHC) stains and culture results in NSAID using patients, following H. pylori eradication therapy or placebo.
347 NSAID using patients who were H. pylori positive on serological testing for H. pylori IgG-antibodies were randomized for H. pylori eradication therapy or placebo. Three months after randomization, gastric mucosal biopsies were taken for H. pylori culture and histological examination. At 3 and 12 months, blood samples were taken for repeated serological testing. The gold standard for H. pylori infection was based on a positive culture or both a positive histological examination and a positive serological test. Sensitivity, specificity and receiver operating curves (ROC) were calculated.
H. pylori eradication therapy was successful in 91% of patients. Culture provided an overall sensitivity of 82%, and 73% after eradication, with a specificity of 100%. Histological examination with either H&E or IHC stains provided sensitivities and specificities between 93% and 100%. Adding IHC to H&E stains did not improve these results. The ROC curve for percent change in H. pylori IgG-antibody titers had good diagnostic power in identifying H. pylori negative patients, with an area under the ROC curve of 0.70 (95 % CI 0.59 to 0.79, P = 0.085) at 3 months and 0.83 (95% CI 0.76 to 0.89, P < 0.0001) at 12 months. A cut-off point of at least 21% decrease in H. pylori IgG-antibody titers at 3 months and 58% at 12 months provided a sensitivity of 64% and 87% and a specificity of 81% and 74% respectively, for successful eradication of H. pylori.
In NSAID using patients, following H. pylori eradication therapy or placebo, histological examination of gastric mucosal tissue biopsies provided good sensitivity and specificity ratios for evaluating success of H. pylori eradication therapy. A percentual H. pylori IgG-antibody titer change has better sensitivity and specificity than an absolute titer change or a predefined H. pylori IgG-antibody titer cut-off point for evaluating success of H. pylori eradication therapy.
PMCID: PMC3515350  PMID: 23006807
2.  Radiographic joint damage in rheumatoid arthritis is associated with differences in cartilage turnover and can be predicted by serum biomarkers: an evaluation from 1 to 4 years after diagnosis 
The objective of this study was to determine whether serum biomarkers for degradation and synthesis of the extracellular matrix of cartilage are associated with, and can predict, radiographic damage in patients with rheumatoid arthritis (RA).
Clinical and radiographic data of 87 RA patients were recorded 1 year after disease onset and then annually up to four years. Serum concentrations of four cartilage biomarkers were determined at these time points: a neoepitope formed by collagenase cleavage of type II collagen (C2C), a neoepitope formed by collagenase cleavage of type II collagen as well as type I collagen (C1,2C), a carboxy propeptide of type II procollagen formed during synthesis (CPII), and a cartilage proteoglycan aggrecan turnover epitope (CS846-epitope). Biomarker concentrations between patients with rapid radiographic progression (>7.3 Sharp/van der Heijde units per year) and those with slow radiographic progression (<2.3 units per year) were compared. In addition, we evaluated the long-term and short-term predictive value of each biomarker for progression of radiographic damage.
Patients with rapid radiographic progression had higher C2C, higher C1,2C, and higher CS846-epitope levels than slow progressors. CPII levels showed no differences. Most importantly, the long-term radiographic progression for C2C, for C1,2C, and for CS846-epitope can be predicted by the biomarker value at year 1 after disease onset. C2C was also a predictor for joint space narrowing and annual radiographic damage during the subsequent year.
This study shows that the concentration of serum biomarkers of cartilage collagen breakdown and proteoglycan turnover, but not of collagen synthesis, are related to joint destruction in RA. The use of these biomarkers may be of value when studying progression of joint damage in patients with RA.
PMCID: PMC1526568  PMID: 16507130

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