Cyclic Citrullinated Peptide CCP Antibody

Also Known As:  Cyclic Citrullinated Peptide Antibody,  Anti-Citrullinated Peptide Antibody, Anti-CCP Antibody, Citrulline Antibody, ACPA, Anti-Cyclic Citrullinated Peptide

What is Cyclic Citrullinated Peptide (CCP) Antibody (IgG) Test?

The Cyclic Citrullinated Peptide (CCP) Test is used to detect and measure the presence or levels of CCP antibodies in the bloodstream. The CCP antibodies also go by the name of anti-CCP antibodies (a kind of antibody referred to as autoantibodies). 

The immune system generates both autoantibodies and antibodies. Antibodies are there to protect against diseases. They help your body fight foreign substances like viruses and bacteria and keep it away from chronic diseases and infections. On the other hand, autoantibodies can lead to severe conditions by mistakenly attacking the body's healthy cells. For the most part, CCP antibodies target healthy tissues present in joints. If these antibodies are found in your bloodstream, it can be an indication of rheumatoid arthritis

Rheumatoid arthritis is a chronic, progressive autoimmune disorder that yields swelling, pain, and stiffness in your joints. According to several researchers, CCP antibodies are found in up to 75% of people with chronic rheumatoid arthritis. However, they are seldom present in individuals who don't have this disorder. When you have rheumatoid arthritis, your joints start to make excessive citrulline, which can ultimately alter the structure of this protein. The immune system instantly catches the changes in the protein structure and then retorts by making CCP autoantibodies. These autoantibodies can attack your healthy cells and tissues. 

What Is The Test Used For?

The main objective of the Cyclic Citrullinated Peptide (CCP) Test is to see if there are any CCP antibodies in your blood. Your doctor or health care professional can order the test to determine if you have RA since it is possible to measure the presence of CCP antibodies in your blood with the blood test. Depending on your symptoms, your doctor can suggest you have rheumatoid arthritis. They may check for:

  • Fatigue and tiredness
  • Extreme joint pain
  • Joint stiffness and swelling
  • Low or high-grade fever

Around 75% of people with rheumatoid arthritis have CCP antibodies in their blood, but it is rare for an individual without this condition to have such antibodies running through the system. 

Apart from helping your doctor diagnose rheumatoid arthritis, this particular test can also predict the seriousness and severity of the disease and the possible damage it can cause to your other body systems. A positive antibody test augments your chances of having the most severe form of rheumatoid arthritis and joint damage. The blood test also helps identify individuals who are more likely to have these profound issues with rheumatoid arthritis. 

Many doctors order other blood tests with cyclic citrullinated peptides (CCP). In addition, they can call for a rheumatoid factor blood test to see if both tests are positive and if you are susceptible to developing rheumatoid arthritis at some point in your life. They might also recommend some other blood tests, including ESR (erythrocyte sedimentation rate), CBC (complete blood count), C-reactive protein test, and ANA (antinuclear antibody test). 

Why And When Do You Need Cyclic Citrullinated Peptide (CCP) Test?

By now, we know that the purpose of the Cyclic Citrullinated Peptide (CCP) Test is to detect the CCP antibodies in the blood. This test is essential for diagnosing rheumatoid arthritis and evaluating its severity. CCP antibody test is for:

  • Diagnosing Rheumatoid Arthritis

For people with rheumatoid arthritis symptoms, the CCP test is used to diagnose and rule out rheumatoid arthritis. Since no other test can diagnose rheumatoid arthritis, this antibody test is often performed in conjunction with other elements like a patient's symptoms and the test results. 

  • To Estimate The Severity Of Rheumatoid Arthritis

The cyclic citrullinated peptide (CCP) test can help your doctor forerun the progression of your rheumatoid arthritis state. Patients with early symptoms who also test positive for the antibody test are at more risk of degenerating joint damage.

What kind of sample is required for the test?

Your doctor, health care professional, or lab assistant will draw a blood sample from a vein in your arm using a small needle. Once the needle is inserted into your arm, a small amount of blood will be collected in a vial or test tube. You might feel a little sting, but it goes away once you are done with the test. 

Suppose you don't want the test to take place in a doctor's office or other medical settings. In that case, home testing kits are also available to collect blood samples and then send them to the laboratory for analysis. These kits have CCP antibody testing equipment and rheumatoid factor testing equipment to diagnose this medical condition. It is important to remember that at-home testing is not an alternative to testing performed in a medical facility, so be sure to discuss your options with your doctor before deciding.

Do You Need To Prepare For The Test?

You do not have to do anything special to get the blood test done. Before the procedure, you might need your health insurance information or any other reliable payment method with you. If you think there will be a long wait time, bring something at the appointment and stay occupied, like a book or your phone. There are no specific clothing requirements; you can wear what you feel comfortable in but make sure that the sleeves are short so you don't have to roll them up for the blood draw. Before the test, it is also important to let your doctor know about any other prescription medications, dietary supplements, vitamins, and other OTC drugs you might be taking. Your practitioner will then analyze if you need to stop consuming them before going for a cyclic citrullinated peptide (CCP) test.

Are There Any Risks To This Test?

This antibody blood test is a low-risk procedure like any other blood test with no contraindications. This test is safe for most people, but you might have some swelling, pain, or bruising at the site of injection and blood draw. Occasionally you may experience a hematoma, i.e., swelling of pooled blood under the skin. Some people feel dizzy and lightheaded after giving the blood, but usually, the symptoms go away on their own after a few hours.

What Do The Test Results Mean?

Once you are tested for CCP antibodies, the results may be available within 2 to 3 days. Your doctor will communicate results over a phone call or via email. However, because many doctors use this antibody test in combination with other tests, you may have to wait to know the results until all the additional tests are complete. 

If your CCP antibody test result is positive, it means that these antibodies are present in your bloodstream. On the other hand, a negative test indicates the absence of any CCP antibodies in the body. The interpretation of these test results will also depend on the rheumatoid factor test result as well as general physical examination. 

If you have rheumatoid arthritis or you are at an increased risk of developing this condition in the future, your test results will illustrate:

  • Positive CCP antibodies and negative rheumatoid factor ( you are in the initial stages of rheumatoid arthritis, and we have a chance of developing it in the future)
  • Positive CCP antibodies and a positive rheumatoid factor ( you already have developed rheumatoid arthritis)
  • Negative CCP antibodies and negative rheumatoid factor ( you are less likely to develop this condition, but your health care provider can run more tests to find out the root cause of your symptoms)

Related Tests: Sacroiliac Joint X Ray, Antinuclear Antibody Test (ANA), Erythrocyte Sedimentation Rate (ESR), CRP Blood Test, Synovial Fluid Analysis.

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