Biomarkers in rheumatic diseases: How can they facilitate diagnosis and assessment of disease activity?

Chandra Mohan, Shervin Assassi

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

49 Scopus citations


Serological and proteomic biomarkers can help clinicians diagnose rheumatic diseases earlier and assess disease activity more accurately. These markers have been incorporated into the recently revised classification criteria of several diseases to enable early diagnosis and timely initiation of treatment. Furthermore, they also facilitate more accurate subclassification and more focused monitoring for the detection of certain disease manifestations, such as lung and renal involvement. These biomarkers can also make the assessment of disease activity and treatment response more reliable. Simultaneously, several new serological and proteomic biomarkers have become available in the routine clinical setting-for example, a protein biomarker panel for rheumatoid arthritis and a myositis antibody panel for dermatomyositis and polymyositis. This review will focus on commercially available antibody and proteomic biomarkers in rheumatoid arthritis, systemic lupus erythematosus, systemic sclerosis (scleroderma), dermatomyositis and polymyositis, and axial spondyloarthritis (including ankylosing spondylitis). It will discuss how these markers can facilitate early diagnosis as well as more accurate subclassification and assessment of disease activity in the clinical setting. The ultimate goal of current and future biomarkers in rheumatic diseases is to enable early detection of these diseases and their clinical manifestations, and to provide effective monitoring and treatment regimens that are tailored to each patient's needs and prognosis.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article numberh5079
JournalBMJ (Online)
StatePublished - Nov 26 2015

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine(all)


Dive into the research topics of 'Biomarkers in rheumatic diseases: How can they facilitate diagnosis and assessment of disease activity?'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this