Rheumatologist Questions Rheumatoid Arthritis

What tests are recommended to confirm rheumatoid arthritis in a person?

My knees and joints hurt a lot, especially in the mornings. I have a feeling it is rheumatoid arthritis, mainly because my mother had it and I watched her struggle with the same symptoms before she was diagnosed. What tests do I need to confirm a diagnosis? What other symptoms should I be aware of?

1 Answer

Great question! Historically, a key blood test to determine whether a person has rheumatoid arthritis checked for the presence of rheumatoid factor (RF): antibodies produced by the immune system that can attack healthy joints and tissues. More recently, an additional antibody called the anti-cyclic citrillunated protein (ACPA) has been considered a marker.
But now, the presence of RF or ACPA is no longer considered necessary for a rheumatoid arthritis diagnosis. When RF and ACPA are negative, but a person has symptoms similar to those of rheumatoid arthritis, seronegative arthritis can be diagnosed. People who have either RF or ACPA antibodies have seropositive RA. In either case, i would advise you to follow up with a Rheumatologist for further evaluation as there can be many different causes for your symptoms and it should be evaluated by a healthcare professional.