The Rheumatoid Arthritis Test panel contains 3 tests with 3 biomarkers.
Brief Description: The Rheumatoid Arthritis Test is a specialized diagnostic panel designed to detect specific markers commonly associated with Rheumatoid Arthritis (RA), an autoimmune disorder that primarily affects the joints.
Collection Method: Blood Draw
Specimen Type: Serum
Test Preparation: No preparation required
What tests does the Rheumatoid Arthritis Test include:
This panel includes three key tests:
Mutated Citrullinated Vimentin Antibodies (MCV): This test looks for antibodies against mutated citrullinated vimentin. Vimentin is a protein that can be modified (citrullinated) in inflammatory conditions. The presence of antibodies against this modified protein is often seen in RA.
Rheumatoid Factor (RF): Rheumatoid Factor is an antibody that is frequently found in the blood of individuals with RA. While RF can be seen in other conditions and in a small percentage of healthy individuals, its presence, particularly in high levels, is strongly indicative of RA.
Cyclic Citrullinated Peptide Antibodies (CCP Antibodies): This test detects antibodies specifically targeting cyclic citrullinated peptides. Anti-CCP antibodies are highly specific for RA and are generally considered one of the most reliable markers for this disease.
When and Why the Rheumatoid Arthritis Test May Be Ordered
The Rheumatoid Arthritis Test is typically ordered when a patient presents with symptoms suggestive of RA. These symptoms can include but are not limited to persistent joint pain, stiffness (especially morning stiffness lasting longer than 30 minutes), swelling, and reduced joint function. The symptoms are often symmetrical and can be accompanied by general feelings of malaise and fatigue.
This test panel is essential for:
- Diagnosing Rheumatoid Arthritis: Early and accurate diagnosis of RA is crucial, as early treatment can significantly improve the prognosis and help prevent joint damage and other complications.
- Differentiating RA from Other Conditions: Since the symptoms of RA can overlap with other joint diseases and autoimmune disorders, this panel helps to distinguish RA from other conditions.
- Assessing Prognosis: The presence of these antibodies, especially in high levels, can indicate more aggressive disease and may influence the treatment strategy.
What the Rheumatoid Arthritis Test Checks For
The Rheumatoid Arthritis Test checks for the presence and levels of specific antibodies that are associated with RA:
- MCV Antibodies: These antibodies are part of the body’s immune response to citrullinated vimentin and are indicative of an autoimmune process characteristic of RA.
- Rheumatoid Factor: While not specific to RA alone, high levels of RF are commonly associated with RA and can support the diagnosis when correlated with clinical symptoms and other test results.
- CCP Antibodies: The presence of anti-CCP antibodies is one of the strongest predictors of RA and is associated with the disease's severity. These antibodies are rarely found in other diseases, making them particularly useful for confirming an RA diagnosis.
The Rheumatoid Arthritis Test is a vital diagnostic tool for identifying RA, differentiating it from other conditions, and aiding in the management of the disease. By evaluating these specific antibodies, healthcare providers can make more informed decisions regarding the diagnosis, prognosis, and treatment plan for individuals with suspected RA.