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Rheumatoid factor high but CRP test normal

(18 Posts)
halcyondays Fri 21-Mar-14 14:36:47

After having blood tests done at the doctors, I was told that my rheumatoid factor was high, so they did a CRP test, but apparently that was normal. Does anyone know if this mean I'm unlikely to have any auto immune problems or should my GP refer me to a rheumatologist?

wonkylegs Fri 21-Mar-14 14:52:44

Did they test for this for a reason (other symptoms) or was it just a part of various tests?
You can have a positive result and not have RA or immune problems (NHS says 1 in 20 are like this) and you can have a negative result & have RA / Auto immune diseases. Its not that helpful a test on its own, this is why they did the CRP level. Again though this is not definitive. Diagnosis requires various things including observation.
It can also be present with various other conditions - little info here
If you have other symptoms I would be asking for further investigation and referral to a specialist.
If you are being investigated for rheumatoid arthritis there is an overview of diagnosis of the condition here. There is loads of information on the Arthritis Care website & NRAS website if you want to look at more.
Other conditions do have their own support associations and the NHS information but I only have the RA ones as i've had it for 16yrs.

halcyondays Fri 21-Mar-14 16:28:35

Thanks. I've been to the doctors about three times in the last couple of years, because of persistent tiredness, slightly achy joints and morning stiffness. All tests done had been clear until now.

candycoatedwaterdrops Fri 21-Mar-14 19:30:33

You definitely need a rheumatologist referral ASAP. Early diagnosis is key to a good outcome in inflammatory types of arthritis. Press your GP and ask him to refer you according to inflammatory arthritis pathway.

I have rheumatoid arthritis; low positive rheumatoid factor and normal CRP. Blood tests do not always indicate RA. Do you have any swelling?

bigfatfeet Fri 21-Mar-14 19:39:18

You need to ask for the anti-CCP blood test, which is a more specific indicator for RA than the rheumatoid factor - I'm not sure whether the GP can do it but a rheumatologist definitely can. I'm positive on both, which is "lucky" as I was diagnosed and treated quickly, but have never had particularly high inflammatory markers.

juniorcakeoff Fri 21-Mar-14 19:56:47

halcyon days have you ever had problems in pregnancy such as late or recurrent miscarriage or migraines?

halcyondays Fri 21-Mar-14 22:26:00

I don't have any noticeable swelling, although the skin around my knuckles can be a bit puffy sometimes.

I've not had any miscarriages, I do get migraines sometimes.

halcyondays Fri 21-Mar-14 22:27:48

I will ask about the anti-CCP test and ask to be referred to a rheumatologist.

RandomMess Fri 21-Mar-14 22:30:50

Don't suppose you have psorasis do you?

halcyondays Fri 21-Mar-14 22:32:07

No, I don't have psoriasis.

candycoatedwaterdrops Sat 22-Mar-14 09:14:24

Anti-CCP can be negative and you can still have RA though. Your best bet is to be seen by an expert. All the best of luck. smile

Poppiesway Sat 22-Mar-14 09:22:58

How old are you ?
Do you have any abdominal bloating or pain ? Do you still have periods?

Paddie Sat 22-Mar-14 09:25:53

Add message | Report | Message poster Poppiesway Sat 22-Mar-14 09:22:58
How old are you ?
Do you have any abdominal bloating or pain ? Do you still have periods?

Hi, am curious as to why you are asking about abdominal bloating and periods.....can you explain further please

imip Sat 22-Mar-14 09:25:57

My 7 yo dr has no rheumatoid factor but still has arthritis. Consultant explained to me yesterday that this can happen. Still investigating the 'type' of arthritis she has. I may have misunderstood this all, but slowly trying to grips with all of this!

Poppiesway Sat 22-Mar-14 11:56:10

Paddie. Sometimes a raised level can also be attributed to ovarian cysts.

candycoatedwaterdrops Sat 22-Mar-14 19:15:52

Poppies Given that the OP has RA symptoms, it's probably the best route to explore first.

halcyondays Mon 24-Mar-14 17:35:09

Thanks everyone. Went to the doctors today, saw a different GP from last time. Apparently they had already done the CCP test, which was fine and also an autoimmune profile which looks for anti-bodies and so on. So he seemed to think that meant I was absolutely fine despite symptoms and the high rheumatoid factor. But I did get him to refer me to a rheumatologist although he seemed to think it wasn't necessary.

wonkylegs Mon 24-Mar-14 17:45:08

Glad you got a referral - the GP shouldn't be diagnosing anyway, it's the rheumatologists call.
I had inconclusive bloods at first but very obvious symptoms - bilateral inflammation/swelling, terrible pain, completely knockout fatigue & stiffness that meant I could hardly move. GP wasn't sure, rheumy was convinced with one look.

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