Mutated citrullinated vimentin or MCV is the native target antigen for autoantibodies to citrullinated proteins. It is present in the synovial tissues and synovial fluid of RA patients. MCV plays a central role in the pathogenesis of RA and is involved in the initiation of ACPA production.
Autoantibodies to MCV are highly sensitive and specific biomarkers for rheumatoid arthritis (RA). In addition to rheumatoid factor, they have been established as valuable tools for serological diagnosis of the disease. MCV antibodies correlate with an erosive course of RA with severe joint damage, extra-articular manifestations, and cardiovascular symptoms. A correlation between disease activity and stratification of RA with ACPA has thus far only been proven for anti-MCV antibodies.
In conjunction with medical history, clinical examination, and imaging procedures, serological tests for anti-MCV antibodies form the foundation for a timely diagnosis of RA. This is of critical importance to the progression of the disease because the rapid implementation of intensive treatment can inhibit damage to the joints and maintain their function.
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