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Are there tests that determine the severity of arthritic inflammation?

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Yes. The erythrocyte sedimentation rate (ESR) reflects the degree of inflammation in the body. In healthy people, the ESR is low and it climbs with inflammation. It doesn't point to any particular disease, but is a general indication of the amount of inflammation in the body. In people with lupus and polymyalgia rheumatica, the ESR often correlates with disease activity.

C-reactive protein (CRP) levels are an even better indication than ESR of the amount of inflammation present. In people with rheumatoid arthritis, a high CRP is high suggests significant inflammation or injury in the body.

Both CRP and ESR levels are used to monitor disease activity and to monitor how well someone is responding to treatment.

SOURCES: American Association for Clinical Chemistry: "Rheumatoid Factor." National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases: "How is Rheumatoid Arthritis Diagnosed?" Arthritis Foundation: "Guide to Lab Tests."


Reviewed by Brunilda Nazario on April 09, 2018

SOURCES: American Association for Clinical Chemistry: "Rheumatoid Factor." National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases: "How is Rheumatoid Arthritis Diagnosed?" Arthritis Foundation: "Guide to Lab Tests."


Reviewed by Brunilda Nazario on April 09, 2018

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What tests indicate disorders like lupus relative to arthritis?

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