If you have ever gone through the diagnostic evaluation of any autoimmune condition; you might know what is the anti-CCP test and what does it confirm? Recently, the prevalence of autoimmune diseases has increased significantly; probably due to advancements in diagnostic tests and innovation of many biomarkers. Today slew of tests available for your rheumatoid arthritis or SLE that are highly specific. Contrary to which, the earlier doctor had to suggest many blood tests, physical examinations, imaging tests, etc. and still the diagnosis was categorically on its judgment and evaluation capacity. One such test that has gained tremendous popularity recently is the anti-CCP test. Read on further to know its significance in detail.
What is the Anti-CCP Test?
The test detects the presence of a specific type of antibodies namely anti-cyclic citrullinated peptides (Anti-CCP), destined to fight against the body’s proteins, citrullinated proteins. These proteins are commonly detected between the joints. Thus, the antibodies against this protein start invading the joints, promoting their degeneration along with functional deterioration. Doctors suggest the anti-CCP test specifically for an autoimmune condition like rheumatoid arthritis. The levels of anti-CCP test results are usually non-significant up to 20 u/ml or below; while the elevated level corresponds to the presence of rheumatoid arthritis.
The Sensitivity and Specificity of the Anti-CCP Test
Studies have confirmed the specificity of anti-CCP towards rheumatoid arthritis to be more than 90%; however, the test is less than 75% sensitive. In simple words, two-third of patients suffering from rheumatoid arthritis are possibly negative for anti-CCP due to lower sensitivity, but more than 90% of positive people are usually suffering from rheumatoid arthritis. The result is also interpreted as:
- Positive anti-CCP test in healthy person increases the chances of rheumatoid arthritis shortly
- In patients with early-stage of RA, a positive anti-CCP test can confirm the condition
- Positive anti-CCP in patients with chronic RA indicates a severe degenerative condition
If you are still keen to know more about the anti-CCP test and when should you check it; read on further.
When Should You Go for Anti-CCP Test?
If you are suffering from any one of the following symptoms, then you are due for an Anti-CCP test; such as:
- Morning stiffness
- Unusual joint pain
- Unusual swelling in joints
- Extreme fatigue
- Continuous low-grade fever
Conclusively, early diagnosis of autoimmune disorders is very essential for the right kind of treatment at right time. Your doctor may suggest series of tests along with anti-CCP to confirm the condition and stage of joint deterioration, like the presence of C-reactive proteins, synovial fluid analysis, erythrocyte sedimentation rate, etc. However, for an instance, anti-CCP is considered to be highly specific for RA.