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Is it possible to have PMR with a normal ESR and C-RP?

Some years ago I was diagnosed with PMR. My blood test results were raised and the symptoms settled with steroids. Now I have much more severe symptoms, but a blood test two months ago showed normal levels, which my GP says rules out a recurrence. I have another blood test on 8th April.

Are there any mredically documented articles which show cases of confirmed PMR with normal ESR and C-RP?

7 Replies

Hi Mssrat,

I have had the classic symptoms of Polymyalgia since Oct 2011. After many visits to the Rheumatologist, and many blood tests and scans etc, my rheumy decided to do a trial of Prednisolone as I presented with the symptoms. Within 4 hours 90% of the pain and all the stiffness was gone. My ESR has never been higher than 15, my CRP 2. She has now diagnosed me with "atypical PMR". She says it is very possible to have normal bloods, but was sceptical becuase of my age. I was 46 when this appeared. Hope this helps.There is a previous PMR patient who collects data, I have attached a link with his statistics. It clearly shows patients on the younger end of the spectrum have normal bloods.

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Thank you for your information! I was diagnosed with PMR 11 years ago . I was diagnosed by a reputable rheumatologist and my GP continued my treatment. After a painful battle on and off steroids for 4 years I was able to live steroid free without major recurrence for almost 7 years ! Two weeks ago it started again pain stiffness cannot properly function dressing myself cannot raise my arms and bone crackling.

Within the past 7 years I have moved to a new state and have been seeing a new GP my old GP has never forwarded my records after 3 requests. When I went to current GP yesterday the blood work came back normal she will not start me on prednisone bc of this ! She has never seen my active PMR before this she has decided to wait it out only prescribing low Mg of pain meds and anxiety treatment . I am entering 3rd week of pain should I request a referral to a rheumatologist? Is it normal for blood levels to be normal while still having a recurrence? Any information you can provide would be most appreciated as I am suffering!!


This thread is 4yr old. You will get more responses if you start a new post. But yes it is possible to have normal bloods, around 20% of PMR patients don't have raised inflammatory markers


I had PMR some years ago cleared after almost year of Prenisolone ,then year ago GCR lost sight in one eye blood tests at Hospital where normal ESP -CRP normal --- PLATELETS UP ..Have remained normal over last year ,often wonder if i do have PMR/////

any answers ??.


Hi all,

Over two years ago I was diagnosed with 'classical' PMR by a specialist - no positive blood tests. I asked my specialist why the bloods were normal. He said that it is often the case and "we don't rely on blood results alone. The symptoms are what we are guided by". He had no doubt that I had PMR, and 2 years further on, I am on 7mg of pred and getting better.

There is so little known about PMR/GCA. Each or both together can present in various forms, but doctors should evaluate a patient's symptoms. It seems to me that the more experienced doctors who have seen these illnesses before are more able to recognise these conditions and treat them with appropriate amounts of steroids.



Thank you very much, runtrig01 for linking that very informative survey


Your welcome Missrat, hope it helps, Perhaps it could help your GP to consider that you may indeed have a recurrence of PMR. Hope your feeling better.



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