Psoriatic Arthritis Diagnosis

Blood Tests
Doctors sometimes find it difficult to diagnose psoriatic arthritis because there is no specific laboratory test to confirm that a person has it. A doctor may order a blood test to detect the genetic factor HLA-B27; but even if the result is positive, the presence of HLA-B27 does not always mean that a person has the disorder.
The doctor may use various blood tests besides the HLA-B27 test to help rule out other conditions and confirm a suspected diagnosis of psoriatic arthritis. For example, the doctor may order rheumatoid factor or antinuclear antibody tests to rule out psoriatic arthritis. Most people who have psoriatic arthritis will have negative results on these tests. If a patient's test results are positive, he or she may have some other form of arthritis, such as rheumatoid arthritis or lupus.
Doctors also may order a blood test to determine the erythrocyte sedimentation rate (sed rate), which is the rate at which red blood cells settle to the bottom of a test tube of blood. A high sed rate often indicates inflammation somewhere in the body. Typically, people with rheumatic diseases, including psoriatic arthritis, have an elevated sed rate.
Other Tests
A sample of synovial fluid (the fluid that lubricates the joints) may be removed from the arthritic joint. Studies of synovial fluid can help the doctor rule out gout or infection in the joint.

Diagnosing Psoriatic Arthritis -- Or Another Medical Condition?

Before making a psoriatic arthritis diagnosis, the healthcare provider will also consider other conditions that share a number of symptoms with psoriatic arthritis. Some of these conditions include:
Top Foods to Fight Inflammation

Psoriatic Arthritis Information

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