Rhematoid Arthritis


NICE has released updated guidance on investigations following a new diagnosis of rheumatoid arthritis. The recommendation is that all patients diagnosed with rheumatoid arthritis should receive anti-CCP (anti-cyclic citrullinated peptide) antibody testing, to determine the severity of their condition – either in primary care to aid diagnosis or in secondary care following diagnosis. The presence of anti-CCP antibodies is independent of a positive or negative rheumatoid factor. Patients have an increased risk of radiological progression, but not necessarily an increased risk of poor function, if anti-CCP antibodies are present or there are erosions on X-ray. These patients should monitor their condition and seek specialist care if their disease worsens or they have a flare, as they have a higher risk of developing severe rheumatoid arthritis.

Conclusion: Testing for anti-CCP antibodies in people who suffer from rheumatoid arthritis can determine the severity of their condition.
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