Last updated on October 20th, 2022 at 07:39 am
The Anti CCP antibody test shows whether an individual has developed antibodies against their own tissues. This test is a research-based test that screens for an autoimmune disease called rheumatoid arthritis (RA).
Anti CCP antibody test
Quick Jump Table
Anti CCP antibody test for rheumatoid arthritis is used for the diagnosis of rheumatoid factor.
Rheumatoid arthritis patients have been found to develop anti-CCP antibodies. Anti ccp antibody test looks for this specific auto-antibody and is used to monitor the severity of the disease.
What is anti-CCP?
The anti-CCP (Anti-Cyclic Citrullinated Peptide) antibody test is a blood test that looks for anti-CCP antibodies (also called anti-citrullinated protein antibodies or ACPAs). These are a type of autoantibody: an antibody produced by the immune system that targets something that the body’s own tissues are made of. ACPAs target a type of protein that is called a citrullinated protein that can be found in some people’s joints.
The anti-CCP antibody test can be helpful in diagnosing Rheumatoid Arthritis (RA). ACPAs are present in 60-70% of people who get RA. Since not everyone with RA will test positive, doctors interpret the results in context with their patient’s symptoms and the results of other tests.
This test’s results are important to consider because:
- In a healthy person without joint problems, a positive anti-CCP significantly increases the odds that the person will get RA in the future
- In a person in the early stages of arthritis, a positive anti-CCP significantly increases the odds of developing RA (even more so than having another type of antibody associated with arthritis, called Rheumatoid Factor or “RF”).
- In a person who has RA, a positive anti-CCP is a good predictor of erosive disease (a more severe condition where the bones can erode away).
The anti-CCP antibody test can help distinguish RA from other types of arthritis. The ACPAs it looks for are almost always associated with RA, they are not associated with many other types of arthritis, and they are only rarely found in certain other autoimmune conditions.
What are the antibodies?
Antibodies are proteins and are normally made by the immune system in response to bacteria, viruses, and other foreign substances. Sometimes, however, antibodies are made when the immune system malfunctions and attacks the body’s own tissues, as happens in RA. Anti-CCP antibodies are of this type. They form in response to inflammatory proteins called citrullinated peptides.
The antibodies are present in the blood of many people with RA from its earliest stages, and even when a person’s arthritis is “undifferentiated” (meaning it’s not clear what type of arthritis it is). Researchers estimated that roughly 95% of people with undifferentiated arthritis who test positive for anti-CCP antibodies eventually develop RA.
What causes anti-CCP?
The specific cause of developing anti-CCP antibodies in patients is unknown. It is thought to be a combination of genetics and environmental factors. Researchers have found that anti-CCP positive rheumatoid arthritis patients have a common sequence of amino acids called the shared epitope, which is encoded in specific genetic markers called human leukocyte antigens (HLA).
The HLA produces proteins that control immune responses. Some researchers believe that the shared epitope attaches to these proteins and produces the anti-CCP antibodies.
Some researchers feel that there is a strong connection between smoking and rheumatoid arthritis patients who have this shared epitope. It is hypothesized that the lung inflammation caused by smoking could lead to developing the anti-CCP antibodies in patients who possess this shared epitope.
Learn More: RA FACTOR
Anti-CCP antibody test normal range
Any value lesser than 20U/ml is normal Anti-CCP Antibody
Diagnosing rheumatoid arthritis with the anti-CCP test
Your doctor may refer to other tests along with your Anti-CCP Test to compare and better diagnosis. Those are;
Anti-CCP test cost in Pune
What does anti-CCP test result mean?
If a patient tested positive for anti-CCP, it doesn’t immediately lead to a rheumatoid arthritis diagnosis. Rheumatoid arthritis is a clinical diagnosis. Besides laboratory criteria, a patient must also exhibit clear clinical symptoms that are consistent with rheumatoid arthritis. These symptoms must also occur for over six consecutive weeks and meet certain criteria, such as how many joints are involved and where they are located on the body.
Sometimes, patients who display symptoms of rheumatoid arthritis but who test negative for anti-CCP could still have rheumatoid arthritis or develop it in the future. Again, this is referring to the seronegative rheumatoid arthritis group. Some of these patients will convert to seropositive rheumatoid arthritis during their disease course, which is why they may be tested multiple times over a period of years.
In certain cases, positive anti-CCP tests may also show the possibility of other conditions besides rheumatoid arthritis. Anti-CCPs are present in patients with other connective tissue disorders like systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE). Despite these rare cases, a positive anti-CCP test is considered highly specific to rheumatoid arthritis (meaning a negative test does not rule out the disease, but a positive result rules it in).
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