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Doctors and reference ranges…

  • By musemama

    Hi everyone,
    Last week I went to my GP (reluctantly, at the insistence of my husband) for fairly mild but persistent symptoms including unusual fatigue, symmetrical mild-moderate joint pain and stiffness, especially in wrists and ankles, and very dry eyes. My hands and sometimes feet swell frequently but only one joint has had redness (pinky). Both my parents, especially my mother, have suffered from autoimmune disease, and my mother’s started around my age (42).

    My doc ordered a bunch of bloodwork, which I was able to see via online MyChart as soon as each test came back. Most everything was as normal as could be, other than Vitamin D (very low end of normal, so I’m starting supplement). RF was 8.6 with a standard range of 0-15, so it was present but not positive.

    Here’s what confuses me, my anti-ccp results:
    CCP Antibodies 1.6 EliA U/mL standard <7.0 EliA U/mL

    This looks negative to me, obviously my value is less than 7. But my doctor put a note on the test saying it is POSITIVE and she’s referring me to a rheumatologist. I’ve left her a message but now it’s the weekend and I have to wait at least till Monday to hear back. I know no one but my doctor can really answer this, but have any of you been in a similar situation? Did she likely just misread my report, or do some systems use a much lower cutoff (I did find some studies showing levels as low as >1.0 or even >0.5 should be considered low positive, since in theory there should be 0 anti-CCP in a healthy person).

    Thanks for any insights, and again, I know no one can really answer this for me. Just curious to see if anyone else has been in the same boat or has more info. Thanks! If I do turn out to have RA, this seems like a wonderful supportive community to be part of.

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  • By tckrd

    Yes you are right also Ra is not strictly by the numbers a lot of it is clinical diagnosis. Your go did a good thing to refer to a rheumatologist.

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