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Detecting Rheumatoid Arthritis

Anti-CCP

The daily pain, stiffness and swelling of rheumatoid arthritis can go undiagnosed for months causing permanent damage to your body. Diagnosing rheumatoid arthritis at its earliest stages can prevent damage and improve long-term quality of life.

How is the test performed?

Blood sample

When will I get my results?

Results are available to your healthcare provider within two weeks.

Rheumatoid arthritis (RA) is an autoimmune disease where the body’s immune system – which normally functions to protect you against infections – mistakenly attacks the lining of the joints.

RA causes redness, pain, swelling or a hot (or warm) feeling in the lining of a joint and can also affect other internal organs such as the eyes, lungs or heart. Each year, about 1% of Canadians are affective by RA. If left untreated RA can create debilitating and permanent joint damage.

While the causes of RA are not completely clear, we know that people with RA frequently have the presence of antibodies directed against the body’s cyclic citrullinated peptide (CCP).

The Anti-CCP test is a blood test that detects the presence of antibodies directed against the body’s cyclic citrullinated peptide (CCP). These antibodies are frequently detected in the blood of people with rheumatoid arthritis. The Anti-CCP test is a highly accurate test and can diagnose the rheumatoid arthritis at a very early stage, sometimes years before the development of symptoms.

Additional information can be found in our Anti-CCP test brochure  here.

Anyone can get rheumatoid arthritis, but the risk increases with age and most commonly develops between 40 and 60 years of age. If you are experiencing symptoms associated with rheumatoid arthritis, you should talk to your doctor about being tested for RA.

Symptoms may included:
  • Pain or stiffness of multiple joints
  • “Gelling” or stiffness of joints, especially in the morning, that lasts an hour or more
  • Warmth or redness over joints
  • Reduced ability to move the joints (such as difficulty making a fist, twisting objects, opening objects, climbing stairs)
  • Fever, fatigue, weight loss or decreased appetite
  • Lumpy growths that form under your skin especially on the elbows, hands or feet

You should also consider the Anti-CCP test if you have a family history of rheumatoid arthritis. Women are also 2 to 3 times more likely to develop rheumatoid arthritis than men.

Your healthcare provider may order an Anti-CCP test, in conjunction with other tests such as JOINTstat, if you are experiencing typical symptoms of rheumatoid arthritis and you:

  • have a family history of rheumatoid arthritis
  • are experiencing hormonal changes
  • are between the ages of 40 and 69
  • have recently had an infection
  • have already been diagnosed with RA and your rheumatologist wants to monitor the RA protein levels.

Testing is completed by LifeLabs at a Patient Service Centre or via our mobile lab service (available in select cities) through a simple blood sample. You will require a completed test requisition from your healthcare provider.

Test results will be provided directly to your healthcare provider for discussion with you. The report will indicate:

  • Whether there are Anti-CCP antibodies
  • The amount of Anti-CCP antibodies present

If your test results show the presence Anti-CCP antibodies, your healthcare provider may suggest a referral to a rheumatologist for discussion and developing a care plan.

A negative test result does not mean you will always be negative. If symptoms persist, you may want to consider testing in another six months.

​The Anti-CCP test is a blood-based immunological test that detects the presence of antibodies directed against the body’s cyclic citrullinated peptide (CCP). These antibodies are frequently detected in the blood of rheumatoid arthritis patients. The Anti-CCP test can diagnose the disease at a very early stage, sometimes years before the development of clinical symptoms.

An Anti-CCP test may be ordered together with a rheumatoid factor (RF) test and JOINTstat to help diagnose rheumatoid arthritis (RA) and to assess the severity and probable course of the disease. Anti-CCP may also be ordered to help evaluate patients at high risk of developing RA, or as a follow-up test to a negative RF test when clinical signs and symptoms of RA are present.

When people with signs and symptoms of arthritis are positive for both CCP antibody and RF, it is very likely that they have RA and that they may develop a more severe form of the disease. When people are positive for CCP antibody but not RF, or have low levels of both, and have clinical signs that suggest RA, then it is likely that they have early RA or that they will develop RA in the future.

Individuals who are negative for CCP antibodies but have a positive RF, then the clinical signs and symptoms are more vital in determining whether they have RA or some other inflammatory condition. When someone is negative for both CCP antibody and RF, then it is less likely that they have RA. It must be emphasized, however, that RA is a clinical diagnosis and may be made in the absence of positive tests for autoantibodies.

Additional information can be found in our Anti-CCP test brochure here.

Samples for Anti-CCP testing may be taken at any of our Patient Service Centres.

Please use a standard requisition form and indicate ‘Anti-CCP’ in the ‘Other Tests’ section. Patients must present the completed form at a LifeLabs Patient Service Centre.

Anti-CCP is currently an uninsured test. The cost is: $55

Payment may be made by the patient when the blood sample is taken at one of our Patient Service Centers.

For convenience, Visa, Mastercard and Debit Cards are excepted.

Patients are encouraged to check with their private healthcare insurer to see if coverage is provided.

Results will be available to you within two weeks.

We have a wealth of medical experts available to support you in interpreting test results.
Consults with our experts are available upon request. Request medical consultation.

Request more information

An Anti-CCP test may be scheduled directly by the patient at any of our Patient Service Centres offering this service. They must have a requisition form completed by a physician or healthcare provider.

Find a Location   Schedule an Appointment

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