About Careers Internship MedBlogs Contact us
Medindia LOGIN REGISTER
Advertisement

Tests for Rheumatoid Arthritis

Last Updated on Jul 28, 2021
Font : A-A+

What are the Tests for Rheumatoid Arthritis?

Arthritis includes a group of conditions that affects joints and can be disabling in the later stages. Arthritis arises due to a variety of causes. Rheumatoid arthritis, is a condition that arises due to an autoimmune reaction, where the body produces antibodies or certain proteins that act against the joint tissues and result in inflammation. Rheumatoid arthritis is more common in women. Diagnosis of rheumatoid arthritis is made based on certain criteria that include clinical features, imaging and blood tests.

An interview with the patient where the patient may complain of:

  • Joint pain. Smaller joints are affected in rheumatoid arthritis first, followed by larger joints. The joint involvement is usually symmetrical on both sides of the body
  • Morning stiffness
  • Joint deformities in later stages
Advertisement

An examination of the patient, which may reveal:

  • Swelling and tenderness of the affected joints
  • Presence of joint nodules

Common diagnostic tests used in arthritis are:

Imaging tests: They are used to study joint disease. Some of the imaging tests used for rheumatoid arthritis include:

  • X-ray: These may not show any changes in the initial stages of rheumatoid arthritis. The joints may show the presence of erosion with reduced joint space and presence of deformity. Features of osteoporosis may be present in the bones adjacent to the affected joints. X-ray is a cheap diagnostic method, but cannot detect very early changes of rheumatoid arthritis.
  • Other tests: Other imaging studies like MRI, ultrasound and CT scan can also detect changes in joints in rheumatoid arthritis, but are not used routinely for this purpose.
  • Blood tests: Since rheumatoid arthritis is an autoimmune disease, proteins called antibodies can be detected in the blood, which move to the joint, thereby causing arthritis. There are several blood tests that can diagnose the presence of rheumatoid arthritis. The proteins that are looked for in these tests are referred to as markers of the disease. Measurements of several of these markers have been explored for the diagnosis of rheumatoid arthritis. The most commonly used among these are:
  • Rheumatoid factor: This is an antibody often present in the blood of patients with rheumatoid arthritis; a positive test in a patient with symptoms of rheumatoid arthritis confirms the diagnosis. A very high level may indicate a more severe disease. However, rheumatoid factor may also be positive in people who do not suffer from rheumatoid arthritis, therefore caution is required while interpreting a result with positive rheumatoid factor.
  • Anti-CCP antibodies: Antibodies to cyclic citrullinated peptides are yet another type of antibodies that help in confirming the diagnosis in patients with positive rheumatoid factor. The test is sometimes positive several years before the appearance of symptoms of rheumatoid arthritis.
  • Complete Blood counts: A red blood cell count can help to detect anemia, which is often present in patients with rheumatoid arthritis. A white blood cell count may also be used to aid in the diagnosis.
  • Erythrocyte sedimentation rate (ESR) and C-reactive protein (CRP): These are blood tests that indicate the presence of inflammation in the body. They can also be used to monitor the response of the patient to treatment.

Reference:

  1. Rheumatoid Arthritis - (http://www.niams.nih.gov/Health_Info/Rheumatic_Disease/default.asp)

Latest Publications and Research on Tests for Rheumatoid Arthritis

Citations   close

Please use one of the following formats to cite this article in your essay, paper or report:

  • APA

    Dr. Simi Paknikar. (2021, July 28). Tests for Rheumatoid Arthritis. Medindia. Retrieved on Jun 25, 2022 from https://www.medindia.net/patients/patientinfo/tests-for-rheumatoid-arthritis.htm.

  • MLA

    Dr. Simi Paknikar. "Tests for Rheumatoid Arthritis". Medindia. Jun 25, 2022. <https://www.medindia.net/patients/patientinfo/tests-for-rheumatoid-arthritis.htm>.

  • Chicago

    Dr. Simi Paknikar. "Tests for Rheumatoid Arthritis". Medindia. https://www.medindia.net/patients/patientinfo/tests-for-rheumatoid-arthritis.htm. (accessed Jun 25, 2022).

  • Harvard

    Dr. Simi Paknikar. 2021. Tests for Rheumatoid Arthritis. Medindia, viewed Jun 25, 2022, https://www.medindia.net/patients/patientinfo/tests-for-rheumatoid-arthritis.htm.


Do you wish to consult a Rheumatologist for your problem? Ask your question

Dr. Santhosh Babu M R
Dr. Santhosh Babu M R
MBBS, DPhysMed
37 years experience
Apollo Sugar Clinic, Patturaikkal, Thrissur
View All

Post a Comment

Comments should be on the topic and should not be abusive. The editorial team reserves the right to review and moderate the comments posted on the site.

Advertisement
Recommended Reading
Advertisement
Health Topics A - Z
A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z



    What's New on Medindia
    COVID Toes
    International Yoga Day 2022 - 'Yoga for Humanity'
    Wearable Devices Are Now Transforming Depression, Multiple Sclerosis, and Epilepsy Management.
    View all

    Medindia Newsletters Subscribe to our Free Newsletters!
    Terms & Conditions and Privacy Policy.

    Most Popular on Medindia

    Turmeric Powder - Health Benefits, Uses & Side Effects Vent Forte (Theophylline) Drug Interaction Checker Post-Nasal Drip Drug Side Effects Calculator Accident and Trauma Care Find a Hospital Find a Doctor The Essence of Yoga Loram (2 mg) (Lorazepam)

    Disclaimer - All information and content on this site are for information and educational purposes only. The information should not be used for either diagnosis or treatment or both for any health related problem or disease. Always seek the advice of a qualified physician for medical diagnosis and treatment. Full Disclaimer

    © All Rights Reserved 1997 - 2022

    This site uses cookies to deliver our services. By using our site, you acknowledge that you have read and understand our Cookie Policy, Privacy Policy, and our Terms of Use
    open close
    CONSULT A DOCTOR