A CCP blood test is prescribed when you experience RA symptoms
During RA, your immune system develops antibodies to target its own cells
Normal anti-CCP values in an individual are less than 20 units/mL
The anti-CCP test aims to measure the level of your antibodies targeting specific proteins in your joints. Anti-CCP antibodies are anti-cyclic citrullinated peptide antibodies and are commonly found in patients having rheumatoid arthritis (RA) . This condition is an auto-immune disorder that destroys joints in your body.
These antibodies attack those proteins in which amino acid arginine is converted to another amino acid citrulline. If you have RA, your citrulline levels may increase because of inflammation in the joints . In a normal scenario, your immune system can tolerate these proteins. However, during RA, an immune response is formed that produces antibodies to destroy these citrullinated proteins.
Other conditions wherein anti-CCP antibodies can be detected are:
To know more about this anti-CCP test or ACPA antibody test and how it can help to detect RA, read on.
Usually, RA affects your joints like elbows, shoulders, knees and hips. Doctors may recommend a CCP blood test if you experience the following symptoms:
The presence of peptide antibodies in your blood confirms the presence of RA . If you undergo this test, your doctor may also be able to assess the severity of your condition.
The main purpose of conducting this test is to differentiate RA from other types of arthritis. Your immune system is capable of protecting your body from harmful microorganisms. In some cases, your body gets confused and considers its own cells as foreign. This results in the formation of antibodies against your cells, which causes autoimmune disorders. Few examples of autoimmune conditions include:
In case of RA, the body produces antibodies against its own peptide proteins. Diagnosis of these anti-CCP antibodies in your blood helps in early treatment. These are found in your blood even before you start to show RA symptoms. However, even if symptoms subside, you may still test positive for RA. So, this test cannot be used to monitor RA progression as there may be fluctuations in levels of antibodies.
It is necessary to inform the doctor if you are taking any medications or supplements. If needed, you may be asked to stop having them before you take the test. There is absolutely no need to fast and you can drink and eat as normal. A blood sample will be extracted from your arm with the help of a small needle. This sample is collected in a small test tube.
The whole procedure is over within 5 minutes. You may feel a slight stinging sensation when your vein is being pricked. After the needle is pulled out, a small cotton ball is placed on the spot. Apply pressure on it in order to stop any bleeding. The blood sample is then sent to a laboratory for further evaluation.
You can also take another kind of instant fingerstick test, which gives results within 10 minutes.
A positive result implies the presence of antibodies in your blood, while a negative result indicates their absence. The normal value of these antibodies in your blood should be less than 20 units/mL. If your value exceeds this normal value, it means you are positive. This test is usually done with a rheumatoid factor (RF) test. Doctors interpret the test results in the following ways.
If you are showing RA symptoms despite a negative result, you may have to undergo more tests for further confirmation.
There are absolutely no risks in taking this test. You may experience a slight bruise or pain on the spot where needle is pricked. These minor symptoms go away within few minutes.
Now that you are aware of the key role played by anti-CCP antibodies, get this test done to detect RA at an early stage itself. Your doctor may also suggest certain other tests for a comprehensive diagnosis. This can help in assessing the severity of rheumatoid arthritis and providing the right treatment. If you are facing any RA symptoms, get yourself checked for anti-CCP antibodies by booking for health test packages on Bajaj Finserv Health. Get an early diagnosis and stay safe from arthritis.