Question: What is an anti-CCP test and how is it used to diagnose rheumatoid arthritis?
Answer: CCP stands for cyclic citrullinated peptide. And it's a particular type of protein that some patients or some people will have in their bodies.
In rheumatoid arthritis, patients with rheumatoid arthritis begin to make antibodies against these particular proteins, and it turns out to be a very specific laboratory finding in rheumatoid arthritis. These types of antibodies are not present in everybody with rheumatoid arthritis. In fact, they probably are in about 75 percent of people who ultimately have "rheumatoid arthritis. But when they're there, there are not a lot of other reasons for them to be there, so they are a very specific marker help identify a patient who's developing rheumatoid arthritis.
They're also present early, so they're very useful early in the course of diagnosis, perhaps sometimes even before all of the symptoms have manifested themselves.
Previous: What Is An Antinuclear Antibodies (ANA) Test And How Is It Used To Diagnose Rheumatoid Arthritis?