What is Rheumatoid Arthritis?
Rheumatoid Arthritis is a long-term disease that affects the joints and leads to inflammation. Rheumatoid arthritis can also cause damage to other organs. If gone untreated, it can lead to several problems, including deformities of joints and severe pain throughout the affected areas.
Symptoms of RA
The symptoms of RA can become unbearable without treatment. The symptoms can include:
~loss of range of motion
~burning, itching and eye discharge
~nodules under the skin
~numbness and tingling of the hand and feet
~dry eyes and mouth
~chest pain during air intake
Purpose of Anti-cyclic citrullinated peptide (CCP):
The purpose of the Anti-cyclic citrullinated peptide (CCP) test is to test for rheumatoid arthritis. It is a newer test that was released for use in 2005. This test allows doctors to compare results to what they call the rheumatoid factor test. By combining these tests, doctors are able to determine more accurately if the patient is suffering from RA. This test is important because, according to Paul B. Halverson, MD., 80 percent of patients who have RA have the positive Rheumatoid Factor. He also acknowledges that at times, a false positive is possible, so proper use of other medical tests may be handy in decrypting the patient’s condition. If combining the Anti-cyclic citrullinated peptide test with the RF test, the patient’s diagnosis is better trusted.
How the Test is Done?
This test, like other lab tests, are drawn via a vein, typically in the patient’s arm. The blood is then sent to the laboratory to be tested. The results are sent to the primary physician for reading and diagnosis.