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HLA-B27

Tested Positive for HLA-B27
by Maryham, Dec 23, 2009 10:24AM
It's hard to know who to ask these questions of, but I have tested positive for HLA-B27 gene.  The test was done after seeing 3 GP's, 2 hand specialists and a rheumatologist.  Almost 5 months ago I started having symptoms of pain in my right wrist, it progressed to about 1 month later having extreme pain in the night, tingling and numb fingers.  I had some swelling in my wrist up to that point.  I began using ibuprofen and tylenol to relieve the extreme pain which at that point was a 9 during the day and a 10 at nite.  I also iced it and wore a splint.  My fingers began swelling along with my hand and wrist, mostly my pinky and ring finger.  I had an MRI, which showed I had significant inflammation and was sent to the rheumatologist who tested me for HLA-B27, which was positive.  He told me the name of the disease I have is HLA-B27.  I don't understand, because it talks about the gene making you be more susceptible for other things like AS and other spondaloarthopathies, tendonitis, uveitis, etc.  I am on an anti-inflammatory medication, but the I still can't bend my pinky finger because of the swelling.  I was told I have inflammatory arthritis, is that a manifestation of the gene I have tested positive for?
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This doesn't make sense to me either.  I've not heard of a disease called that, just that it predisposes you to spondyloarthritis.  I think you need to ask him for more clarification.  Being positive does not mean you have one of the spondyloarthritises, be sure you don't have something else.  
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Guess I was procrastinating today, so I did a little research.  From http://www.labtestsonline.org/understanding/analytes/hla_b27/test.html: the HLA-B27 test is primarily ordered to help strengthen or confirm a suspected diagnosis of ankylosing spondylitis (AS), Reiter’s syndrome (reactive arthritis), or sometimes anterior uveitis.  Also, the gene is found with highest prevalence in patients with ankylosing spondylosis (>90%), reactive arthritis (80%), and patients with the combination of peripheral arthritis and either psoriasis or inflammatory bowel disease (50%).

Inflammatory arthritis is a condition where arthritis is present because of localized joint inflammation. Forms of inflammatory arthritis include rheumatoid arthritis, lupus arthritis, gout, and many others.  I would guess that your last sentence is correct.  

Hope you feel better soon,
Karen
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Thanks for responding to my questions Trudie and Karen.  I didn't think that was the name of the disease.  My doctor is an extremely intelligent man and Filipino, so between the 2, I don't always follow what he's meaning.  I do ask him to help me understand.  I don't know if he thinks I have AS, he said a disc in my neck is less than it should be.  I have chronic pain in my neck and shoulders because of my job, but everytime I turn my head, it crunches and cracks.  My hand Dr. sent me to the rheumatologist because he said I had tenosynovitis in my wrist.  He did some tests on my blood which came up negative for RA, they checked my sed rate (it was elevated), gout was negative.  He said the tenosynovitis was coming from somewhere and he suspected inflammatory arthritis.  Some of the tests were redone by the rheumatologist because he uses a special lab, he said the tests could be more accurate, RA was negative again, but I tested positive for the gene which the Dr suspected I would at the head to toe exam.  He kept asking me if I had psoriasis or sores any other place on my body which I didn't have either.  If I have AS, I know that arthritis can go along with that, but is there a name for the arthritis?  Or is it just considered inflammatory, which I think sounds like a general term, not a specific disease.

Thanks again,
Mary
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Have they tested you for Cyclic Citrullinated Pep IgG.  It is highly specific for rheumatoid arthritis.  It is how I got diagnosed, even though my RF is negative.  

However, it sounds like you have been diagnosed with Ankylosing Spondylitis, which is a form of arthritis that primarily affects the spine, although other joints can become involved.  

Does that help?
Best of luck to you,
Karen
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Yes!  all of it helps!  What helps alot is being able to talk about this with someone who understands and can help me ask the right questions.  People around me, family and friends don't realize how serious this disease is and as I plod through my day, every movement I make causes pain.  I'm pretty sure I had the
Cyclic test done because my doc said he was going to do a more specific test for RA that my hand doc hadn't done.  It was negative.

Are you on either of the 2 medications that are suppose to slow the progression of the disease?  Both of which cause hair loss and other serious side effects?  I was reading in the genetic forum out changing your diet and the difference it made in the pain level, do you think there is anything to that?

I noticed your post was 4 hrs ago, is it hard for you to sleep?  I find myself having pain anytime I make a movement to turn in bed, so I use a bunch of extra pillows to help support some body parts.  It helps some.  I forgot to mention that  I have severe tendonitis in both my shoulders besides the tenosynovitis in my wrist and the swelling in my hand.  The tendonitis is killing me!

How long have you had RA, or how long since the dx?

Thanks for your help,
Mary
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Sent you a personal message to answer your questions.  Give me a shout back.

Karen
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I am 19 years old & have had wrist pain for years. Ive seen my pcp, orthopedic surgeon, hand & wrist specialist, rhuematologist, nuerologist, had multiple blood tests, xrays, & MRI's... No one knows what the problem is, but they recently discovered that I also have hla-b27, and i am clueless of what that means.
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