New Method of Diagnosing Arthritis Found

Published Online: Thursday, December 1, 2005

Doctors specializing in arthritic diseases recently announced a more advanced method for diagnosing rheumatoid arthritis (RA) at an earlier stage, which increases the chances of controlling the disease sooner.

Diagnosing RA usually involves observing the clinical manifestations of the disease. A diagnostic test involving an enzymelinked immunosorbent assay was recently developed that allows detection of an important indicator of RA, anticyclic citrullinated peptide antibodies, at a preclinical stage.

Researchers say that the optimal time to treat RA is the first 2 to 3 years from the onset of the disease. The new test is disease-specific, in that it can differentiate between RA and other types of arthritis. This differentiation is important for the proper treatment to be given.

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