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Answers tagged blood tests: Page 1 of 1

Austin from Toronto asks: I tested CCP positive but have no symptoms of rheumatoid arthritis.  Am I more likely to get it now?

Anti cyclic citrullinated peptide (anti CCP) is a test which is highly associated with rheumatoid arthritis.  It is not necessary to test positive to have rheumatoid arthritis, but most individuals who are positive have or will develop RA.  That being said, there are exceptions to this rule, particularly if the test is not strongly positive.  In particular, there is growing data to suggest individuals with pulmonary (lung) issues may test positive and not develop RA.  In some instances, it may be worthwhile monitoring your joints with a rheumatologist over time to ensure you do not develop rheumatoid arthritis.


Mahdi from Afghanistan asks: My wife was told she has Takayasu’s arteritis, but her tests (ESR, CRP) came back normal.  Is this possible?

Takayasu’s arteritis is a form of vasculitis.  It is unique in that it affects large blood vessels, and is generally diagnosed in individuals under the age of 40.  It causes inflammation in the blood vessels, which can disrupt blood flow, or cause the wall of the blood vessel to become thinner than it should.  While markers for inflammation in blood tests can often be elevated in most forms of vasculitis, it is also possible for them to be normal.  A normal test does not rule out Takayasu’s arteritis.  While not for everyone, in some patients, a normal ESR or CRP may indicate that the disease is not currently active; damage has been done to the blood vessel causing blood flow disruption (no pulse), but smaller blood vessels have developed to provide the necessary blood flow in its place.


Bethany from Olds asks: My grandmother died from Scleroderma complications at 48 in 1970. I have exhibited many symptoms of Scleroderma for years, and they have all become worse in the last six months.  All the general blood tests my GP has access to have come back negative but is still going to refer me to a Rheumatologist. What are the chances I could have Scleroderma even though all my blood work was fine?

Like many rheumatic conditions, a diagnosis of Scleroderma is not always made based on lab tests.  A good history and physical examination by a scleroderma specialist – usually a rheumatologist – combined with appropriate investigations, will help lead to the correct diagnosis and treatment plan.  While there are a number of blood tests that can be associated with scleroderma, it is possible for them to be negative and still have the condition.


Alyssa from Edmonton asks: What type of inflammatory arthritis occurs in multiple joints and yet shows negative on blood tests for the RA factor?

In many cases, inflammatory arthritis is a clinical diagnosis, meaning it can be diagnosed by listening to the patient’s story and performing an appropriate physical examination.  Rheumatoid arthritis can be associated with a number of positive blood tests, including a rheumatoid factor or anti-CCP-antibody, but a negative test does not exclude the diagnosis.  Other forms of inflammatory arthritis that usually have negative blood tests include psoriatic arthritis, enteropathic arthritis, and reactive arthritis.


Julia from Edmonton asks: What tests are done to confirm RA? Is it possible to have normal blood labs and still have this disease?

There is no test that confirms a diagnosis of rheumatoid arthritis. Your story and an appropriate physical exam by your rheumatologist is the best way to make a diagnosis. To answer your question, it is very possible and common to have completely normal blood tests and still have rheumatoid arthritis.

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