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Dr. Andrew Rynne

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Exp 50 years

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Is rheumatoid arthritis diagnosed purely based on blood tests?

"I am a 33 year old female that had joint pain/swelling for about a period of one week. In the middle of that week I went to the doctor for my symptoms and the doctor took blood to test for many things but said my problem seemed to point to a virus: parvo virus. After researching, it all made sense since I am a 4th grade teacher and fifth disease was in our school at that time. Based on the research I did, parvo virus is the same virus as fifth disease in children. Anyway, the symptoms disappeared in about a week and everything was all better. When the doctor called with my blood work they said I tested positive for the rheumatoid factor (107) and referred me to a rheumatologist. I have an appt. with the rheumatologist in 3 weeks - that was the soonest they could get me in. In the meantime I was sent my blood work results and am concerned about some of the numbers and no one from my regular doctor has called me back. Like I said, my rheumatoid factor was 107 and my ana titer was 1:160 with a homogeneous & nucleolar pattern. Also, I am positive for the parvo virus according to the blood work. I am so confused by what this means and would like some clarification if possible since I do not see the doctor for three weeks. My symptoms have disappeared and I feel fine. Today, however, I feel like my muscles in my upper arms are sore and I haven't done anything that would have made them sore - not sure if this is coincidence or something else to be concerned about. My grandma also had rheumatoid arthritis so it does run in my family. If I had parvo virus could that have affected my blood work and made my rheumatoid factor and ana titer positive? How do doctors diagnose rheumatoid arthritis - is it purely based on the blood test or other things as well? Thank you so much for your help,Jennifer
Tue, 18 Nov 2014
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Pathologist and Microbiologist 's  Response
hi, dr. boskey gandhi is here, parvo virus is, one kind of viral infection, while rheumatoid arthritis is auto immune disease, which is coming from family, here, ra factor is high, &it s confirm by anti c.c.p test,which is more specific for rheumatoid arthritis,& it has diagnostic value. A.N.A test is also positive in your case,which is also suggestive of auto immune disease. so now u can go for anti c.c.p blood test, treatment should be taken according to it. yes, rheumatoid arthritis is diagnosed by symptoms & and blood tests only. and x-ray of affected joint can be needed in some situations. so please take opinion of your rheumatologist & take medicine according to him advise. take care. best luck! !!!
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