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15 Medical Tests for Psoriatic Arthritis

15 Medical Tests for Psoriatic Arthritis

Comprehending the extensive range of medical tests related to Psoriatic Arthritis is essential for prompt diagnosis and efficient treatment. Armed with information and insight, people may successfully traverse the diagnostic journey with the assistance of Kayakalp Global.

Our specialists offer information on the 15 medical tests that are essential for correctly diagnosing this ailment. With Kayakalp Global’s experience, you will learn important information about these tests, enabling you to better comprehend the diagnosis procedure and make decisions that will help you manage psoriatic arthritis.

  • Psoriatic Arthritis Test: X-Ray

X-rays can assist your doctor in diagnosing psoriatic arthritis and tracking the inflammatory disease’s advancement since they employ low-dose radiation to create pictures of the internal structures of the body.

With X-rays, the physician can observe alterations in the bone. X-rays of individuals with psoriatic arthritis may reveal bone erosion, new bone development, bone fusion, or a condition known as “pencil in cup,” in which the edges of the affected bones have eroded to the tip of a pencil. If there are any of these changes, it means that the illness is becoming worse.

Frequency

A first X-ray may be taken by a physician to rule out other types of arthritis, such as rheumatoid arthritis, which have distinct patterns of joint involvement, and to assist in the diagnosis of psoriatic arthritis.

The frequency of your X-rays after that is determined by your doctor and the severity of your condition. For normal monitoring, some doctors only take X-rays once a year, while others would only do so in response to a change in a patient’s health.

  • Psoriatic Arthritis Test: MRI

Should the X-rays fail to reveal inflammation and the physician desires more proof, an MRI could be performed. This is a result of MRIs’ greater detail than X-rays. This non-invasive imaging method produces detailed three-dimensional pictures by using radio waves produced by a computer and a magnetic field.

In an MRI, protons—subatomic particles found in the water that makes up human tissue— are excited by radio waves that are sent through your body while you lie within a machine, usually a huge tube-shaped magnet, and stay still. Unlike X-ray imaging, the process doesn’t cause any discomfort and doesn’t release any radiation.

After reviewing the MRI, a radiologist reports to the rheumatologist. A history of bone degradation, oedema, and inflammation is suggestive of active psoriatic arthritis.

Frequency 

When diagnosing psoriatic arthritis, a physician may first order an MRI. Later on, the MRI may be ordered to track the disease’s progression or to check for any shifts in a patient’s symptoms.

  • Psoriatic Arthritis Test: Erythrocyte Sedimentation Rate

A blood test for psoriatic arthritis called erythrocyte sedimentation rate, sometimes known as ESR or sed rate is used to evaluate inflammation in the body and aid in the diagnosis.

The test calculates the rate at which red blood cells settle in a vial of blood—millilitres per hour. The blood’s proteins stick together and become heavier when oedema and inflammation exist, which causes the blood to fall and settle at the test tube’s bottom more quickly.

Similar to other blood tests, laboratories interpret ESR readings differently, with each lab giving a slightly different interpretation depending on previous findings. Age has a role as well. Elderly persons’ ESRs might be somewhat raised and still be normal for them.

Frequency 

Testing to see if there is persistent inflammation may be performed numerous times a year in addition to the diagnosis.

  • Psoriatic Arthritis Test: C-Reactive Protein

A blood protein called C-reactive protein (CRP) signifies inflammation. You may be diagnosed with psoriatic arthritis if a blood test reveals elevated CRP levels. If your ESR is normal, your doctor could still utilise the test since, in certain cases, CRP is a more reliable indicator of inflammation. Readings may be interpreted slightly differently in various labs.

Frequency 

CRP blood test for psoriatic arthritis can be performed once for diagnosis and subsequently many times annually to evaluate the impact of therapy on inflammation.

  • Psoriatic Arthritis Test: Rheumatoid Factor

Systemic inflammation is occasionally indicated by rheumatoid factor (RF), an immune system protein that might serve as a diagnostic for autoimmune disease.

While RF is mostly linked to rheumatoid arthritis, it may occur in a tiny number of cases of psoriatic arthritis. Physicians may consider RF levels about other variables, such as a particular type of joint involvement and psoriasis symptoms, which can coexist with psoriatic arthritis, to differentiate between the two disorders.

Frequency 

Usually, just the first diagnostic appointment is used for this.

  • Psoriatic Arthritis Test: Anti-Cyclic Citrullinated Peptide Test

Anti-cyclic citrullinated peptide antibodies, or anti-CCPs, are tests that are often used to detect rheumatoid arthritis. However, it can also be used as an inflammatory blood test for psoriatic arthritis as anti-CCPs can also be an indicator of psoriatic arthritis.

Approximately 8% to 16% of psoriatic arthritis patients will have positive anti-CCP tests.

Frequency 

Usually, the anti-CCP test is performed at a patient’s first assessment.

  • Psoriatic Arthritis Test: HLA-B27

Another blood test for psoriatic arthritis is HLA-B27 searches for a protein on the surface of white blood cells known as human leukocyte antigen B27 (HLA-B27), which is thought to be a hereditary marker for psoriatic arthritis. HBL-B27 is found in around 20% of patients with psoriatic arthritis, however, other research suggests the number may be twice as high.

Psoriatic arthritis is one of a wider class of autoimmune disorders known as spondyloarthropathies, which is linked to HLA-B27. Enthesis, or the junction of bone and tendon, can become inflamed due to these disorders anywhere in the body, but the spine is the most common location.

Osteopenia or osteoporosis may result from this inflammation’s long-term effects, which include muscular spasms, cartilage loss, and a drop in bone mineral density.

Frequency

Usually, the HLA-B27 test is only run at the first visit to aid in the diagnosis.

Red blood cells, white blood cells, and platelets are among the components of blood that are measured by a complete blood count (CBC). A CBC may show abnormalities in psoriatic arthritis, such as anaemia, which may be brought on by long-term inflammation or other conditions associated with the disease. Elevated white blood cell counts can also be a sign of persistent inflammation.

Frequency

A CBC is frequently part of the first diagnostic evaluation for psoriatic arthritis and may be carried out again at regular intervals to track the progression of the condition and its response to therapy.

  • Psoriatic Arthritis Test: Tuberculosis Test

A bacterial illness, tuberculosis (TB) typically impacts the lungs but can also spread to the bones, joints, and kidneys. Fever, chills, night sweats, wheezing, decreased weight, and exhaustion are some of the symptoms.

Before beginning biological medication—which are injectable or infusion forms of protein-based drugs—people with psoriatic arthritis need a negative test result for tuberculosis. These drugs may cause latent (inactive) TB to reactivate by weakening the immune system.

A blood test and a skin test are the two types of tuberculosis testing available. A tiny quantity of the protein tuberculin is injected under the skin of the lower arm for the skin test. 48 to 72 hours later, the region is checked to see whether there has been any reaction. The size of the swollen or elevated, hard region determines the outcome.

A tuberculosis blood test determines if the presence of M. tuberculosis bacteria has triggered an immunological response in the body. A blood sample is taken, and the test is performed at a laboratory.

Frequency 

Before writing a prescription for a biologic, doctors order a TB test. If the patient is taking the drug, they may repeat the test once a year. A TB test should be performed as a result on any patient who has been exposed to tuberculosis or who shows symptoms.

  • Psoriatic Arthritis Test: Chest X-Ray

To improve their chances of finding an infection, doctors frequently prescribe a chest X-ray in addition to a TB test. An ongoing or recent infection, or scarring from previous TB exposure, may be shown on the X-ray.

Frequency

Similar to the TB skin test, physicians may request a yearly chest X-ray from the patient prior to writing a biologics prescription, provided the patient continues to take the drug.

  • Psoriatic Arthritis Test: Serum Uric Acid

Purines are present in many foods and human cells, and when the body breaks them down, uric acid is produced. Psoriatic arthritis patients have occasionally been shown to have elevated blood levels of uric acid, which is also associated with gout, heart disease, and hypertension.

Frequency

A few times a year.

  •  Psoriatic Arthritis Test: Bone Mineral Density

DXA, or dual-energy X-ray absorptiometry, is the most widely used test for bone mineral density. This test counts the grammes of calcium and other minerals packed into a bone fragment using X-rays. Stronger and healthier bones are those with higher densities.

Regretfully, popular psoriatic arthritis drugs, including the corticosteroid prednisone, can gradually damage bones and raise the risk of osteoporosis. A decline in bone mineral density is also linked to psoriatic arthritis itself.

Your doctor will talk about drugs that can delay or stop bone loss if you are diagnosed with osteopenia, a condition characterised by weakening bones that can develop into osteoporosis. They may also suggest calcium and vitamin D supplements in addition to resistance training.

Frequency

After menopause and at least every two years thereafter, bone density screenings are performed. The test may be performed sooner and repeated every one to two years if the patient is using prednisone or other drugs that lower bone mineral density.

  • Psoriatic Arthritis Test: Anemia

Anaemia, or a drop in healthy red blood cells, can result from persistent inflammation in psoriatic arthritis patients and cause fatigue, shortness of breath, and dizziness.

Your doctor can diagnose anaemia by taking a blood sample and analysing the amount of haemoglobin, the pigmented, oxygen-carrying component of red blood cells. Haemoglobin levels in deciliters of blood should range from 11.6 to 15 grammes for women and 13.2 to 16.6 grammes for males.

Your doctor will examine you and order more blood tests to determine the cause if blood testing indicates anaemia. Anti-inflammatory drugs also assist with anaemia in psoriatic arthritis patients.

Frequency

To determine if the anaemia has gotten better or worse, doctors may prescribe tests multiple times a year.

  • Psoriatic Arthritis Test: Thyroid Function Tests

Tests for thyroid function assess the thyroid’s functioning, which is important for immune system control and metabolism. Results that are out of the ordinary might point to an underlying thyroid condition that might be causing or aggravating psoriatic arthritis. Thyroid-stimulating hormone (TSH), thyroxine (T4), and triiodothyronine (T3) levels in the blood may be measured as part of certain tests. It’s critical to keep an eye on thyroid function since thyroid abnormalities might affect the body’s inflammatory reactions.

Frequency

To monitor thyroid health and its possible impact on psoriatic arthritis, thyroid function tests may be done regularly. Typically, they are performed as part of the diagnostic workup for the condition.

  • Psoriatic Arthritis Test: Skin Biopsy

A little sample of skin tissue is removed during a skin biopsy in order to examine it under a microscope. A skin biopsy in psoriatic arthritis may show psoriasis-related characteristics such as inflammation, epidermal hyperplasia, and the presence of aberrant immune cells. By distinguishing psoriatic arthritis from other illnesses that present with comparable symptoms, this test aids in the confirmation of the diagnosis.

Frequency

In order to confirm psoriatic arthritis, skin biopsies are usually carried out during the diagnostic procedure. Repeat biopsies could be required in some circumstances to track the course of the disease or evaluate the effectiveness of therapy.

Psoriatic Arthritis Test & Frequency

Psoriatic Arthritis TestFrequency
Psoriatic Arthritis Test: X-RayAnnually
Psoriatic Arthritis Test: MRIEvery 2 Years
Psoriatic Arthritis Test: Erythrocyte Sedimentation RateQuarterly
Psoriatic Arthritis Test: C-Reactive ProteinQuarterly
Psoriatic Arthritis Test: Rheumatoid FactorAnnually
Psoriatic Arthritis Test: Anti-Cyclic Citrullinated Peptide TestAnnually
Psoriatic Arthritis Test: HLA-B27Once (if indicated)
Psoriatic Arthritis Test: Complete Blood Count (CBC)Every 6 Months
Psoriatic Arthritis Test: Tuberculosis TestAnnually (if on immunosuppressants)
Psoriatic Arthritis Test: Chest X-RayAnnually
Psoriatic Arthritis Test: Serum Uric AcidAnnually
Psoriatic Arthritis Test: Bone Mineral DensityEvery 2 Years
Psoriatic Arthritis Test: AnemiaEvery 6 Months
Psoriatic Arthritis Test: Thyroid Function TestsAnnually
Psoriatic Arthritis Test: Skin BiopsyAs needed (if skin symptoms change)

Caution Note: The frequency of these tests can vary based on individual patient conditions and physician recommendations. Regular follow-ups with a healthcare provider are essential to determine the appropriate testing schedule.

Any imaging test or blood test for psoriatic arthritis can aid in diagnosis and treatment planning. Patients can achieve better health outcomes and a higher quality of life by making these crucial tests a priority and working collaboratively with expert healthcare providers at Kayakalp Global. To manage Psoriatic Arthritis and lessen its influence on everyday life, keep in mind that early identification and appropriate treatment are essential. Kayakalp Global remains dedicated to offering people professional treatment and assistance as they travel the path to improved health and well-being.

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