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Rheumatoid Arthritis - Exams and Tests

No single lab test can diagnose rheumatoid arthritis. Instead, doctors look at symptoms and physical signs and then rule out other diseases that can cause similar symptoms.

A medical history and physical exam are usually done to help find the cause of joint pain. The pattern and nature of joint symptoms are the most important clues to the diagnosis.

Recommended Related to Rheumatoid Arthritis

Hip Rheumatoid Arthritis

About 1.3 million Americans suffer from rheumatoid arthritis (RA). This chronic inflammatory arthritis affects two to three times as many women as men. Although RA is most commonly associated with joints of the hands and wrists, it can also affect larger joints, such as the hips, knees, and shoulders. Symptoms of hip arthritis may occur later than those from RA affecting smaller joints.

Read the Hip Rheumatoid Arthritis article > >

Diagnosis is based on a set of classification criteria. The criteria include the results of these tests:

Other tests are used to help monitor and manage rheumatoid arthritis. These include:

Regular checkups

Because rheumatoid arthritis can lead to severe joint destruction and disability over time, regular checkups are important to see if treatment is working or needs to be adjusted.

More information

    This information is produced and provided by the National Cancer Institute (NCI). The information in this topic may have changed since it was written. For the most current information, contact the National Cancer Institute via the Internet web site at http:// cancer .gov or call 1-800-4-CANCER.

    WebMD Medical Reference from Healthwise

    Last Updated: January 29, 2014
    This information is not intended to replace the advice of a doctor. Healthwise disclaims any liability for the decisions you make based on this information.
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