Background: The purpose of this study was to estimate the diagnostic accuracy of anti-carbamylated protein (anti-CarP) antibodies in rheumatoid arthritis.
Methods: We searched the PubMed, EMBASE, Cochrane Library, Web of Science, and Scopus databases for studies published before January 1, 2019. Two investigators independently evaluated studies to determine their inclusion in the analysis, assess their quality, and extract the relevant data. The articles were assessed with the Quality Assessment of Diagnostic Accuracy Studies tool, and a bivariate mixed effects model was used to estimate the diagnostic indexes across studies.
Results: We included 16 published studies in this meta-analysis. The pooled sensitivity and specificity of anti-CarP were 43.1% and 94.4%, respectively. The area under the summary receiver operator characteristic curve was 0.55. The specificity estimates were highly heterogeneous, which could be partly explained by the higher specificity in the healthy control group (43.0%, 96.8%) than in the other disease group (43.4%, 89.8%).
Conclusions: Anti-CarP antibodies have a relatively low sensitivity and high specificity for rheumatoid arthritis. However, the specificity was lower in the other disease subgroups than in the healthy controls.