At a Glance
Why Get Tested?
To help diagnose rheumatoid arthritis (RA) and differentiate it from other types of arthritis; sometimes to help evaluate the prognosis of a patient with RA
When to Get Tested?
If a patient has joint inflammation and/or undiagnosed or undifferentiated inflammatory arthritis (symptoms suggest but do not yet meet the criteria of RA) and the doctor suspects RA
A blood sample drawn from a vein in your arm
Test Preparation Needed?
The Test Sample
What is being tested?
The cyclic citrullinated peptide antibody (CCP) test is a relatively new assay that detects the presence of citrulline antibodies in the blood. These autoantibodies are proteins produced by the immune system in response to a perceived threat from citrulline. An unusual amino acid, citrulline is created when the amino acid arginine is altered. There is speculation that the conversion of arginine to citrulline may play a role in the autoimmune inflammatory process seen in the joints of those with rheumatoid arthritis (RA). Citrulline is most commonly formed as part of the ageing process of cells and cell proteins.
How is the sample collected for testing?
A blood sample is obtained by inserting a needle into a vein in the arm.
Is any test preparation needed to ensure the quality of the sample?
No test preparation is needed.
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NOTE: This article is based on research that utilizes the sources cited here as well as the collective experience of the Lab Tests Online Editorial Review Board. This article is periodically reviewed by the Editorial Board and may be updated as a result of the review. Any new sources cited will be added to the list and distinguished from the original sources used.