n CME : Your SA Journal of CPD - Interpretation of laboratory tests in rheumatic disease : main article




The presence of a laboratory abnormality does not always imply the presence of disease. <br>The CRP is a sensitive and early indicator of inflammation. <br>A negative ANA virtually excludes a diagnosis of SLE. <br>Low-titre false positive ANAs are common in the normal population. <br>A positive dsDNA or Sm antibody strongly suggests a diagnosis of SLE. <br>Only 20 - 30% of unselected patients with a positive RF test will actually have RA. <br>20% of patients with RA will remain seronegative throughout their disease course. <br>Anti-CCP antibodies are virtually diagnostic of RA. <br>The HLA B27 test cannot be thought of as a routine, diagnostic or screening test for ankylosing spondylitis. <br>Synovial fluid analysis is of utmost importance in excluding septic arthritis in patients with a monoarthritis.


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