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What do the blood tests for rheumatoid arthritis reveal?

In diagnosing rheumatoid arthritis, your doctor may order some blood tests to confirm what is discovered during the physical exam. There are several different tests that the doctor may choose from:

  • ESR-erythrocyte sedimentation rate. This shows that there is inflammation somewhere in the body. It may mean rheumatoid arthritis.
  • C-reactive protein levels. Also may show inflammation.
  • Rheumatoid factor. This is an antibody that the body produces in response to rheumatoid arthritis or other diseases.
  • Anti-cyclic citrullinated peptide (anti-CCP) antibodies. Testing for these antibodies may be the most accurate test available for rheumatoid arthritis, since people without rheumatoid arthritis almost never have these antibodies.

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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.