Antibodies to citrullinated protein antigens (ACPAs) are highly specific for rheumatoid arthritis (RA) and are useful in the diagnosis of RA as well as the prediction of the course and outcomes of disease. Multiple methodologies exist for measuring ACPAs, including the widely available tests for anticyclic citrullinated peptide antibodies and for antibodies to mutated/modified citrullinated vimentin. These methodologies overall have similar diagnostic accuracies for RA, although there is some variability. The discovery of ACPAs and the biology of citrullination have also led to important advances in the understanding of the pathophysiology and development of RA, especially regarding the relationship between potential genetic and environmental risk factors for RA. Going forward, research into autoimmunity to citrullinated proteins may help identify the specific etiology of RA and provide approaches for the prediction of future risk of disease, and ultimately prevention of RA.