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What to Know About RA Test Results

Joint Fluid Tests

Sometimes doctors order tests to analyze samples of joint fluid, also called synovial fluid. They remove it from the joint space with a needle.

Drawbacks: This test can’t specifically show that you have RA. But finding fluid with evidence of inflammation supports the diagnosis.

X-rays

X-rays of the joints help find and track rheumatoid arthritis.

Drawbacks: X-rays aren’t sensitive enough to show early RA damage. And they only show harm to joints and bones, not soft tissue like ligaments, tendons, or muscles.

WebMD Medical Reference

Reviewed by David Zelman, MD on May 09, 2015
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