Early detection and aggressive treatment of rheumatoid arthritis (RA) are vital to prevent joint damage. To spot RA and measure its progression, rheumatologists test the blood for certain biomarkers that are characteristic of RA. Although several biomarker tests – the erythrocyte sedimentation (sed) rate, the C-reactive protein (CRP), and rheumatoid factor (RF) – indicate inflammation, they are fairly non-specific to RA. So, the development of more specific biomarker tests is important. These tests allow earlier detection of RA and also pave the way for more customized care.
Below are descriptions of more specific biomarker tests that are being used to diagnose and monitor RA disease activity.