The CCP blood test is designed to detect the Cyclic Citrullinated Peptide Antibody in the blood. It is commonly ordered alongside a rheumatoid factor blood test to determine the presence of rheumatoid arthritis or a similar condition. It may also be ordered to determine the extent of this disease’s progression within a patient. Some medical providers may also order blood tests with the CCP blood test to look at inflammation markers which could be present.
The CCP blood test is usually ordered for people who are suspected to have some form of arthritis, but may not qualify for a rheumatoid arthritis diagnosis at this time. Up to 95% of the people who test positive for the antibodies which attack a person’s CCP will later receive a diagnosis of rheumatoid arthritis from their medical provider. This allows for a treatment plan to be implemented early on in the course of the disease.
When To Ask About the CCP Blood Test
If you are experiencing the signs and symptoms of an inflammatory arthritis issue, then this is an appropriate time to discuss the pros and cons of having the CCP blood test ordered with your medical provider. The symptoms may include ongoing fatigue and the presence of a fever. The joints which have been affected may be painful, warm, and swollen. The joints may also be stiff. The hands and wrists are most commonly affected, but pain can be felt anywhere in the body.
Sometimes there may only be a general feeling of being unwell, often referred to as “malaise.” Some people may develop nodules under the skin because of their inflammatory arthritic condition, especially around the elbow. Joints are usually affected symmetrically when the issue is related to rheumatoid arthritis.
If the rheumatoid factor blood test is negative, but these signs and symptoms are still being experienced, the CCP blood test is often ordered to help determine a specific diagnosis.
What Do My CCP Blood Test Results Mean?
A positive CCP blood test typically means that there is some form of inflammatory arthritis that is affecting the body. If this test is positive and the rheumatoid factor blood test is also positive, then this typically allows a medical provider to diagnose rheumatoid arthritis. People who test positive on both blood tests are also at a higher risk of having a much more severe and progressive form of rheumatoid arthritis.
Having a positive CCP blood test result, but having a negative rheumatoid factor blood test, may indicate an early stage form of rheumatoid arthritis or another inflammatory condition which is affecting the joints. Some people may test positive for CCP, for example, but be experiencing a gout attack instead of rheumatoid arthritis.
If the CCP blood test is negative, then this lowers the risk of an inflammatory arthritic condition. Having the rheumatoid factor blood test also be negative further lowers this risk. If the signs and symptoms of rheumatoid arthritis are present, however, a medical provider may still diagnose a patient with this health condition despite the negative test results.
Here’s What You Need To Know
You may need to specifically ask for the CCP blood test. It is a relatively new option for medical providers. The rheumatoid factor test may still be considered the first best option to diagnose the symptoms you may be experiencing. If this test comes back negative, the use this guide to ask questions about this follow-up test.
The CCP blood test has been known to have positive results with autoimmune conditions that are not related to an inflammatory arthritic condition. Sjogren syndrome, Graves disease, and SLE [lupus] have been known to occasionally produce positive test results. A tuberculosis infection may also produce a positive test result in some patients, although this is a rare outcome.
Because this is an autoantibody, even if the condition that has created it is cured with the treatment plan developed by a medical provider, you will always test positive in the future on the CCP blood test. For this reason, it is not typically used as a screening tool by itself. A series of blood tests, physical examinations, and personal interviews will lead a medical provider to a diagnosis.
Inflammatory arthritic conditions can be particularly debilitating, especially when they affect the fingers, hands, and wrists. Speak with your medical provider about any bothersome signs and symptoms mentioned in this guide at your next appointment so that you can receive the timely treatment you may need to restore your health.