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How is psoriatic arthritis (PsA) diagnosed?

Diagnosing psoriatic arthritis is usually done by ruling out other causes for joint problems. Doctors will do a physical examination to check for joint swelling and tenderness around the affected area. Then he or she may order further tests, including x-rays, joint-fluid tests to rule out gout, and RF (Rheumatoid Factor) tests to check for antibodies indicative of rheumatoid arthritis not psoriatic arthritis.

To diagnose psoriatic arthritis (PsA) doctors usually start with a blood test. This is done to rule out other causes of the symptoms and other types of arthritis. Sometimes the doctors will look at the synovial fluid. To do this, they put a small needle into the joint and take out a sample.

Next up are x-rays. These give detailed pictures of the joints and bones. They show where the arthritis is and what damage has been caused by inflammation. The symptoms and tests help the doctors decide whether it’s PsA or not, and which type it is. Symptoms like swollen joints and a skin rash will lead a doctor to do some tests for psoriatic arthritis (PsA). 

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.