Seropositive and seronegative rheumatoid arthritis? - NRAS

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Seropositive and seronegative rheumatoid arthritis?

Prairie
Prairie
20 Replies

What does this mean....I have seropositive rheumatoid arthritis/anti CCP positive just wondering what the difference is and is there one more aggressive than the other.... I've never had this explained to me...or should I say I have never asked my consultant...anyone know thanks nicola :-)

20 Replies
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Hidden
Hidden

I think seropositive means the rheumatoid factor is above a certain number, and the anti CCP result similarly is above a certain number. So they are just the results of some of the tests they do. I was seronegative at first. The trouble is RA is more complicated than what ones blood tests show. So I probably have been no help at all!

Both RF and CCP are used in diagnosis now. They only used RF for me at first.

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Prairie
Prairie
in reply to Hidden

Hi phoebe thanks for your reply. Your right it gets confusing with different tests....it took two years before I was properly diagnosed with ra it gets complicated..for me there was never a straight forward picture....thanks again Nicola

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Dotty7

Rheumatoid factor tests throw up quite a high percentage of false results, ie you can be RF positive for reasons other than RA, and just because you are RF negative it doesn't mean you haven't got RA. Anti-CCP is a newer test which tends to be ordered by rheumatologists rather than GPs. It is considered to be a more reliable test, in that if you are anti-CCP positive it is pretty certain you have RA, although if you don't have raised anti-CCP it doesn't mean you don't have RA.

Also research suggests that there is a link between raised anti-CCP and more erosive disease, although with the modern emphasis on decisive and prompt treatment there is a reduced likelihood of this. In my health trust (or whatever it's called now...) the protocol is that anti-CCP patients are more closely monitored, so I see either the consultant or the specialist nurse every 3-4 months, regardless of how well I am doing.

Hope that helps,

Dotty x

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Prairie
Prairie
in reply to Dotty7

Hi dotty thank you for your reply...it has helped me a lot....I've had numerous tests....it gets a bit confusing at times...and like you I see my rheumy consultant every three month...thanks again Nicola x

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helixhelix

The rheumatoid factor is an antibody, which means it's something your immune system produces in response to something it thinks is harmful. This antibody is called the rheumatoid factor as there's a greater probability that you'll get or have RA if you have it in your blood, but it's not 100% probability. Sometimes it builds up in your body in response to a completely different disease. Lots of people have it in their blood and never get RA, and a lot of us don't have it but sadly still get RA. So it's not hugely reliable. Anything over I think 20 is considered positive, but the higher the result the more likely.

The anti-CCP is another type of chemical in the blood, and as others have said it's much more specific to RA and if positive it's much more likely you'll get or have RA. It's a more expensive test, so tends only to be taken once you've been referred to a rheumy.

I'm seronegative (ie no rheumatoid factor) but positive for anti-CCP, and although I was told this could mean my RA is more aggressive & erosive so far (fingers crossed) it's been pretty well behaved. So all these things are just generalities/probabilities and really it's best to try not to think the worst but just work out what your own RA is like. Polly

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Prairie
Prairie
in reply to helixhelix

Hi polly thank you for your reply which has really helped me a lot in understanding how these tests work. Your right about not thinking the worst as with RA there's never two people the same....thanks again Nicola :-)

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Hidden
Hidden

Hi, I'm sero-negative RA. My ESR at its highest was 82. It's now usually about 25 but jumps up to about 50 during a flare or if I'm ill. I also have Sjogren's Syndrome, Bronchiectasis with pseudomonas and have had chemotherapy for breast cancer this year.

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Prairie
Prairie
in reply to Hidden

Hi thank you for your reply. Sorry to hear you have a lot to cope with bless. I often think when we are diagnosed with one thing sometimes our immune system has a lot to answer for. I was diagnosed with secondary sjorgrens. This sero-negative sero positive was confusing me but a lot of good advice on here has helped me. Thanks again take care Nicola x

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Kittykatxxxxx

Hello I have heard that sero-negative is meant to be less aggressive than positive. But I think it depends on the individual. I am sero-negative with no swelling/normal esr etc and have erosive disease. I wouldn't worry about the type. All the best xx

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Prairie

Hi kittykat thank you for reply. I was just wanting to know how these tests worked out. Probably me been concerned as It gets confusing I try not to worry. But it's always nice to chat and get advice from people on here. We all different as we all know RA has a lot to answer for....thanks again take care Nicola :-)

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krysia

hi guy's i'm new to this site so bear with me! just read Prairie's comment about being diagnosed with secondry sjorgrens what is it? i have sjorgren's with dry eyes and dry mouth is this a follow up to the first stage or what? i know it does progress so that mean's get's worse can you fill me in please

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Hidden
Hidden
in reply to krysia

Hi Krysia, I have secondary sjogrens too - in this instance it's being described as 'secondary' to the main diagnosis i.e RA. Approximately 40% of people with RA develop a 'secondary' but related disease - such as Sjogren's, Fibromyalgia, Thyroid, Diabetes etc etc. Hope this calms your fears:-}

Cece x

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krysia
krysia
in reply to Hidden

thank you for this information. i also have RA so does that mean mine is secondary? when first dianosed with Sjogren's my g.p did'nt to begin with precribe any artifical tear's! it was a while before i got some and that was only due to an eye infection!!i'm o.k now as it's on my repeat prescription as is the Hydroxychloroquine.i also have a persistant dry cough wonder if anyone else does? they can't seem to find out the cause had chestX ray's breathing test's! i believe it's something to do with the dry throat! would be intrested to know if anyone elsehas the cough problem?

takecare xx

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Hidden
Hidden

Secondary Sjogren's is when you get it alongside another autoimmune disease, like RA. Primary Sjogren's is when it is not connected to other diseases. More info here: sjogrens.org/index.php

Which says: Sjögren’s is usually classified by a clinician as either primary or secondary. Primary Sjögren’s occurs by itself and secondary Sjögren’s occurs when another connective tissue disease is present. However, this classification does not always correlate with the severity of symptoms or complications. Primary Sjögren’s and Secondary Sjögren’s patients can all experience the same level of discomfort, complications and seriousness of their disease.

Hope this helps. xx

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Jenniet

I have seropositive RA and had a positive anti ccp test, read it up and found out that the RA was likely to be more aggressive than a seronegative diagnosis.

I have now been diagnosed and on triple therapy for 5 years, I go back for appointments about every 10 months. I am fine, ok not perfect, but so much better than I was before diagnosis and I appear to be doing a whole lot better than lots with a seronegative diagnosis. Things may change but I just take each day as it comes and at the moment that is working well!

Don't worry.

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Prairie
Prairie
in reply to Jenniet

Hi Jennifet thank you for your reply. Your tests are the same as mine. When you say your on triple therapy whats that if you don't mind me asking...your right we have to take each day at a time. Thanks again for your reply Nicola x

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Jenniet
Jenniet
in reply to Prairie

Hi there. Triple therapy just means I'm on a combination of 3 drugs, in my case, methotrexate, hydroxychloroquine and sulfasalazine. Luckily enough I appear to tolerate drugs pretty well! Jenniet,

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Hidden
Hidden

The Link I put on for Sjogren's Syndrome was the US one, this is the link to the British Sjogren's Syndrome Association website: bssa.uk.net/

Kath xx

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zubba798

Hey- I have seropositive RA as well, and wasnt sure really what it meant so had to look into it- most simple response i have found is in this hopkinsarthritis.org/ask-th...

its only short, but may give you some quick answers.

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Prairie
Prairie
in reply to zubba798

Thank you for this...it's very strange in how it all works...how to understand it all...and all the different tests and diagnoses.....Nicola xxx

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