This chronic autoimmune disease affects the joints, causing inflammation and pain. Over 1 million people in India are estimated to live with rheumatoid arthritis, which is more prevalent in women than men. Early diagnosis and therapy of rheumatoid arthritis are crucial to prevent joint damage and disability. Blood tests, such as the arthritis blood test, are essential in diagnosing rheumatoid arthritis, as they can detect specific antibodies and inflammatory markers in the blood. 

Top 6 Blood Tests Used to Diagnose Rheumatoid Arthritis

Here are six blood tests that are commonly used to diagnose rheumatoid arthritis.

What is Rheumatoid Factor (RF) Test?

  • The arthritis blood test, including the rheumatoid factor (RF) test, is one of the most commonly used to diagnose rheumatoid arthritis. 
  • This test detects the presence of RF antibodies in the blood, which the immune system produces as a reaction to the inflammation induced by rheumatoid arthritis. 
  • However, not all people with this issue have RF antibodies, and some people without rheumatoid arthritis may have RF antibodies in their blood. 
  • Therefore, doctors often use blood tests and physical examinations to diagnose it accurately.

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What is Anti-Cyclic Citrullinated Peptide (CCP) Test?

  • The arthritis blood test, including the anti-cyclic citrullinated peptide (CCP) test, is another used to diagnose rheumatoid arthritis. 
  • This test detects antibodies that target CCP, a protein modified in people with rheumatoid arthritis. 
  • The presence of CCP antibodies in the blood is similar to rheumatoid arthritis and is not usually found in people without the disease. 
  • Early diagnosis and treatment, aided by these blood tests, are crucial in managing the symptoms and preventing joint damage in people with rheumatoid arthritis.

What is Erythrocyte Sedimentation Rate (ESR) Test?

  • The erythrocyte sedimentation rate (ESR) test, which gauges how the red blood cells settle to the bottom of a test tube during a predetermined period, is a component of the arthritis test. Because inflammation causes red blood cells to congregate and settle more quickly, this test indirectly detects the body’s amount of inflammation. 
  • The ESR test can, however, be raised in various inflammatory disorders and is not limited to rheumatoid arthritis. 
  • The C-reactive protein (CRP) test, which can provide important details about the degree of inflammation in the body, is also a component of the arthritis profile test. 
  • Even though none of these tests are specifically for this diagnosis, they are all frequently used as a component of an arthritis test to help diagnose and treat the condition.

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What is C-Reactive Protein (CRP) Test?

  • The C-reactive protein (CRP) test measures the level of CRP. Like the ESR test, the CRP test is not specific to rheumatoid arthritis and can be elevated in other inflammatory conditions. 
  • However, the CRP test is more sensitive than the ESR test and can detect inflammation earlier. 

What is Complete Blood Count (CBC) Test?

  • The complete blood count (CBC) test is a blood test that gauges the number and types of blood cells in the body. 
  • The CBC test may reveal a low red blood cell count, indicating anemia, or an elevated white blood cell count, indicating inflammation
  • However, these changes are not specific to this ailment and can occur in other conditions. 
  • While the CBC test and other blood tests can provide important information about inflammation in the body, they cannot definitively diagnose rheumatoid arthritis. 

What is Vectra DA Test?

  • The Vectra DA test uses a combination of 12 biomarkers to assess the level of inflammation in people with rheumatoid arthritis. 
  • The biomarkers include cytokines, chemokines, acute-phase reactants, and matrix metalloproteinases, all involved in the inflammatory process. 
  • The Vectra DA test provides a score that reflects the level of disease activity in rheumatoid arthritis, which can be used to guide treatment decisions.

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In conclusion, blood tests are a crucial tool in diagnosing rheumatoid arthritis. They can detect specific antibodies and inflammatory markers in the blood, indicating the disease’s presence and severity—the rheumatoid factor (RF) test, anti-cyclic citrullinated peptide (CCP) test, and erythroid.

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