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Rheumatoid Arthritis Diagnosis
How is rheumatoid arthritis (RA) diagnosed?
No single lab test can diagnose RA. The doctor will ask you questions about your health and look at your joints for signs of swelling or tenderness. The pattern and nature of joint symptoms are the most important clues to the diagnosis. Your doctor will then rule out other diseases that can cause similar symptoms.
Diagnosis is based on a set of classification criteria. The criteria include the results of these blood tests:
- Anti-cyclic citrullinated peptide antibody (ACPA or anti-CCP) test. It helps confirm the diagnosis and may show your risk of having severe symptoms.
- C-reactive protein. This test may help show how the disease is affecting you.
- Erythrocyte sedimentation rate. It may also help show how the disease is affecting you.
- Rheumatoid factor. This blood test measures the amount of the RF antibody in the blood.
Clinical trials are research studies that evaluate a new medical approach, device, drug, or other treatment. As a Stanford Health Care patient, you may have access to the latest, advanced clinical trials.
Open trials refer to studies currently accepting participants. Closed trials are not currently enrolling, but may open in the future.