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What is Anti-CCP? What Does Anti-CCP Indicate?

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Rheumatoid Arthritis



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What is Anti-CCP? What Does Anti-CCP Indicate?
By Carol Eustice, About.com Guide
Updated November 06, 2006
About.com Health's Disease and Condition content is reviewed by the Medical Review Board
Question: What is Anti-CCP? What Does Anti-CCP Indicate?
What is anti-CCP? What does anti-CCP indicate? When is it appropriate to have this test? Does anti-CCP determine if a patient has rheumatoid arthritis?
Answer:
What is anti-CCP?

Anti-CCP, which stands for anti-cyclic citrullinated peptide antibody, is a new and exciting blood test to help doctors confirm a diagnosis of rheumatoid arthritis1.

Guide To Rheumatoid Arthritis2
When is it appropriate to have this test? Does anti-CCP determine if a patient has rheumatoid arthritis?

Anti-CCP is a very useful test to order during the diagnostic evaluation3 of a person who may have rheumatoid arthritis. If present in such a patient at a moderate to high level, it not only confirms the diagnosis but also may indicate that the patient is at increased risk for damage to the joints. (Low levels of this antibody are less significant.) In the past, doctors relied on another antibody, the rheumatoid factor (RF)4 to help confirm a diagnosis.
What is Rheumatoid Factor?5
What does anti-CCP indicate?

While the rheumatoid factor is more common in rheumatoid arthritis patients, many patients with a positive test do not have rheumatoid arthritis. Furthermore, the presence of the rheumatoid factor has less prognostic significance than the CCP. Of interest is that if your rheumatoid factor is negative, you are less likely to have a positive CCP. Both blood tests are recommended in the initial evaluation of a patient with suspected rheumatoid arthritis.

Do Normal Blood Test Results Rule Out Rheumatoid Arthritis or Other Rheumatic Diseases?6
Related Resources - Diagnosis of Arthritis

Diagnostic Tests / Diagnosing Arthritis7
Early Diagnosis of Arthritis - Is it Important?8
An In-Depth Report: Blood Tests For Evaluating Arthritis9
Answers provided by Scott J. Zashin, M.D., clinical assistant professor at University of Texas Southwestern Medical School, Division of Rheumatology, in Dallas, Texas. Dr. Zashin is also an attending physician at Presbyterian Hospitals of Dallas and Plano. He is a fellow of the American College of Physicians and the American College of Rheumatology and a member of the American Medical Association. Dr. Zashin is author of Arthritis Without Pain - The Miracle Of TNF Blockers. The book is useful for anyone on one of the biologic drugs (Enbrel, Remicade, Humira) or considering the biologic drugs. Read my review of the book.

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