Dee from Edmonton asks: Do I need to be in a flare to be tested for RF or anti-CCP antibody?

Rheumatoid Factor (RF), and Anti-cyclic Citrullinated Peptide Antibodies (anti-CCP) are tests which are often performed in the work up of rheumatoid arthritis.  A patient does not need to be in flare to have these tests done.  However, these tests do not definitively diagnose rheumatoid arthritis.  Many patients with rheumatoid arthritis can be negative for both of these tests.  Many patients with a positive rheumatoid factor may never have rheumatoid arthritis, although this is less common for anti-CCP.  The best way to diagnose rheumatoid arthritis is by having your physician or rheumatologist listen to your symptoms and perform an appropriate physical examination.

Posted: March 24, 2016


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