I am a 48 year-old man than has been battling leg ulcers for two years now. I have been diagnosed with venous insufficiency. My primary care physician referred me to my local "wound care center', where I was given a complete blood work-up. The blood tests indicated that I tested positive for 'Rheumatoid Factor', but the medical staff dismissed the results as an aberration. I also underwent ultrasound & blood pressure tests on my legs, which confirmed the venous insufficiency diagnosis. Upon a return visit to my primary care physician, I mentioned the results of the blood tests, and he ordered more specific blood tests pertaining to RA. He called me in right after and confirmed that my new blood protein tests were, in his words, 'strongly positive' for RA, but was perplexed that I exhibited no symptoms of the disease (even though mentioned that I was having problems with sporadic pain in my knees and bouts of sciatica) . He said if my knees swell (which they rarely do, just the pain), come in and he would extract the fluid for tests. However, given that my leg ulcer is finally healing, he did not pursue the matter of RA.
Now, I've read that one form of RA is a condition called vasculitis, of which sometimes exhibits itself in the form of leg ulcers, which I have. Could my venous insufficiency and resultant leg ulcers be complicated by vasculitis ? And if so, should I ask my primary care physician for a referral to a RA specialist ?
I have Reactive Arthritis pretty much the same symptoms as RA but was caused by an infection and having a specific gene ( HLA-B27). I too was tested for the RA factor and was negative. The kicker is that a person can test positive and NOT have RA and also test negative and HAVE RA. Bizzare right? I had a brain scan and found 3 lesions , I was told it was either MS, Ischemia or Vasculitis. When I asked what vasculitis was I told that the arthritis went to my brain. That was 4 years ago and I am just now being tested for MS. I think you should absolutely go see a Rheumatologist, they will run more blood tests, checking your Sed rate which measures the amount of inflammation in your body. I'm sorry I don't know more about vasculitis but if you need any help with the arthritis I can help you. Best of luck and let me know how you make out.
Vasculitis is an uncurable uncommon autoimmune disease of the blood vessels. There are several types of Vasculitis. If you have Vasculitis, you have arthritis but not everyone that has arthritis has Vasculitis. With Vasculitis you will have lesions, depending upon what type you have. Find a good Rheumatologist that knows about Vasculitis and has some Vasculitis patients. The Cleveland Clinic in Cleveland Ohio is the center for Vasculitis.
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