Sometimes there are symptoms of rheumatoid arthritis without the presence of antibodies in the blood test. In this case, the symptoms of rheumatoid arthritis with a negative blood test are called seronegative rheumatoid arthritis by doctors.
What is meant by seronegative rheumatoid arthritis?
In rheumatoid arthritis, the body’s immune system mistakenly assumes and destroys normal body tissues such as joints, etc. Substances called antibodies are made by the immune system to destroy the normal tissues of the joints, etc., and if we take a blood test from a patient with RA, there are types of these antibodies in it, so-called rheumatoid arthritis with a positive blood test (RF and cpp).
But there is a group of people who have clinical signs of rheumatoid arthritis without having specific blood antibodies called cpp and RF, That is, rheumatoid arthritis with a negative blood test for the presence of essential antibodies to this disease.
These people are likely to make small amounts of these antibodies that cannot be detected by routine laboratory tests.
Some people with seronegative rheumatoid arthritis may have a positive blood test for antibodies in later years.
Rheumatoid arthritis symptoms with a negative blood test
Here are some important and significant symptoms in the diagnosis of seronegative rheumatoid arthritis:
- Joint pain:
Dryness of the joints of the hands (especially); knees, hips, ankles and elbows
- Inflammation of the joint:
Joint inflammation manifests itself with swelling, redness and warmth
- Joint tenderness:
The joints are sensitive and painful to the touch and examination.
- Morning joint dryness:
It usually lasts more than half an hour.
Note that the joint symptoms will be symmetrical, several joints are involved simultaneously (multi-joints).
Other important symptoms
- Red eyes
Many of the above symptoms are also present in people with seropositive rheumatoid arthritis. Symptoms of seronegative arthritis in many people changes over the time. Symptoms sometimes appear to be more severe in people with seropositive rheumatoid arthritis, but there are people in this group whose severity of symptoms and course of the disease has been only slightly different from the seronegative types.
Diagnosis of seronegative rheumatoid arthritis
- Blood test and rheumatoid assay for RF and CPP
Lack of these antibodies in the blood of a person with symptoms of rheumatoid arthritis will not rule out the disease.
- Photo with X-ray
In people with extensive symmetrical joint involvement and pain and inflammation and swelling of the joints, damage and Skeletal injuries is possible on X-ray imaging.
In general, the set of symptoms, along with the examination and test results, leads the physician to diagnose seronegative rheumatoid arthritis:
- Negative RF and CPP in blood test
- Symmetrical involvement of joints
- Involvement of more than one joint (Multi-joint inflammation or polyarthritis)
- Inflammatory conditions and phases in the body
Inflammation of the joints and bones (osteoarthritis) with negative blood test arteries may also be present in the following cases:
- ankylosing spondylitis
- Psoriatic arthritis
Sometimes it is difficult to differentiate correctly and make a clear diagnosis.
Treatment of seronegative arthritis
The goal of treatment is to control and reduce pain and prevent disease progression.
Treatments should be started as soon as possible to reduce the pressure on the joints and prevent joint destruction.
- Home herbal remedies
Types of this category are offered as OTC, ibuprofen, naproxen, indomethacin, etc. are among the drugs of the nsaids family that are associated with reducing inflammation and pain relief. Types of this category that have a stronger effect will be prescribed by a doctor.
Celexib is a more specific type of nsaid.
Disease-modifying antirheumatic drugs, are drugs that their consumption will slow the progression of the disease, the analgesic benefits of these drugs will appear over time and continuous use.
Types of these drugs that are useful in arthritis with a negative blood test:
Occasionally, arthritromatids with a negative blood test become resistant to these drugs.
In addition to the oral or injectable form, these drugs are injected directly into the inflamed joint space to relieve inflammation.
- Home herbal remedies
- Fish Oil
- evening primrose
We emphasize that these herbal remedies alone cannot control your symptoms or slow down your illness.
In addition to the original medicines, you can also use medicinal plants with the approval of your doctor, and avoid taking herbs without consulting your doctor.
Performing standard and appropriate exercises prescribed by your doctor or physiotherapist will keep your joints moving and healthy. Proper exercise plays an important role in maintaining joint function by strengthening the muscles.
Stress reduction is another property of exercise.
Joint replacements or reconstructive surgeries are sometimes needed.
Differential diagnoses of seronegative arthritis
The following can cause symptoms such as rheumatoid arthritis with a negative blood test:
- Viral joint inflammation (viral arthritis)
- Lyme disease
- Reactive arthritis
But in these cases, other characteristic symptoms are added to the joint involvement.