Inflammatory arthritis with normal blood test results

Starburst Member Posts: 2,546
edited 5. Jan 2012, 17:49 in Living with Arthritis archive
I found an interesting article discussing inflammatory arthritis with normal blood test results. I thought it might be helpful for some people here, especially those who are struggling to get diagnosed.

Key points from the article:

The ESR or CRP may be normal in RA. In a large study of RA patients from Finland and US, between 45-47% of patients had a normal ESR, 44-58% had normal CRP at presentation. BOTH were normal in 33% and 42% of patients. When a rheumatoid factor test was included, 14-15% of patients had no abnormalities in all 3 tests.

Many patients with psoriatic arthritis (approximtely 50%) will have either normal or near normal ESR and or CRP levels

With Ankylosing Spondylitis, abnormal CRP and ESR can be very helpful in making a diagnosis of AS but these tests will only be abnormal in about 50% of patients.

Full study can be found here:


  • dreamdaisy
    dreamdaisy Member Posts: 31,520
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    Thank you starburst, that is interesting: it all goes to prove just what a difficult problem inlfammatory arthritis can be to tackle if the bloods don't 'prove' it's there but the swelling does! I hope you are feeling OK now. DD
  • barbara12
    barbara12 Member Posts: 21,276
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    Thanks so much for this, it make very interesting reading...I have been going round in circles for a couple of years now....just one of my levels were raised...and the rest normal .....still not sure if it OA...reading about others I tend to think along the line of inflammatory....we will see.
  • zechariah
    zechariah Member Posts: 222
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    Thats interesting, I have OA in knees but recently my hands have been stiff and I am getting pain in so many other places, my GP ordered bloods and yet they came back normal!!

    It never easy is it
  • flossy47
    flossy47 Member Posts: 171
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    It took me a year and a different GP to get my diagnosis because my blood tests were negative. First GP kept giving me painkillers and then more blood tests.
  • suzygirl
    suzygirl Member Posts: 2,005
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    Thanks for posting, the article. :grin:
  • theresa4
    theresa4 Member Posts: 696
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    Thanks for the post starburst. My CRP when inactive RA is between 3-5 when Im in agony and in flare it goes up to,........wait for it...........12
    My ESR 5-10 baseline............32 in pain mosat its been is 45.
    Yet Im severly disabled by pain, falls, mobility, hand dexterity, etc...

    Wow my blood results are not staggering but now your post explains Im normal yet my previous rheumy wasnt impressed even though her superior my original rheumy follows the same guidelines suggested in this report. As does my new rheumy.

    My original rheumy felt that an upward change from my baseline was enough to correlate my pain with my blood results even though not earth shattering amounts in comparision with others. Glad Im an individual. Its the same with my thyroid my baseline isnt the same as others and a slight deviation towards"normal" causes me hairloss, menstrual change and severe weight gain. Luckily thats under control and has been for years.

    This report is great for people like me thanks again.

    Theresa x

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