Erythrocyte sedimentation rate (ESR) and C-reactive protein (CRP) are blood tests that can be used to check levels of inflammation in the body. These tests measure the extent of muscle damage (in some rheumatic diseases, damaged muscles release certain enzymes into the blood). These tests can also show how well medications work to reduce inflammation that causes muscle damage. These may include a blood test, a urinalysis, and an analysis of fluid removed from the affected joint.
Blood tests, such as ESR (erythrocyte sedimentation rate), rheumatoid factor testing, and antinuclear antibody testing (ANA), may indicate the presence of certain joint diseases. Laboratory tests are often useful in diagnosing a musculoskeletal disorder. For example, the erythrocyte sedimentation rate (ESR) is a test that measures the rate at which red blood cells are deposited at the bottom of a test tube containing blood. ESR usually increases when there is inflammation.
However, because inflammation occurs in many conditions, ESR alone does not establish a diagnosis. This test measures the level of complement, a group of proteins in the blood. It is used to help diagnose and control systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE) and rheumatoid arthritis. The doctor will perform several blood tests to help diagnose rheumatoid arthritis (RA) and other inflammatory conditions.
Low hematocrit and hemoglobin counts may be signs that your medication is causing blood loss from the stomach and passing through the intestine. Magnetic resonance imaging may be used if the cause of the pain is thought to be a serious soft tissue problem (for example, a rupture of a major ligament or tendon or damage to important structures within the knee joint). To help determine if the joint has been damaged due to injury, the doctor may use a normal (effortless) X-ray or one taken with the joint under tension caused by certain positions (stress X-ray). Blood tests, urine tests, joint fluid, tests, biopsies, and x-rays are useful tools that doctors rely on to help diagnose and treat arthritis.
They are usually done to help diagnose lupus vasculitis (inflammation of the blood vessels), psoriatic arthritis (joint inflammation and scaly, inflamed skin), or other forms of arthritis that affect the skin. For example, finding uric acid crystals confirms the diagnosis of gout Diagnosis Gout is a disorder in which deposits of uric acid crystals build up in the joints due to high levels of uric acid in the blood (hyperuricemia). (Read more) is an imaging procedure that is occasionally used to diagnose a fracture, especially if other tests, such as simple x-rays and computed tomography (CT) or magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), do not reveal the fracture. Measures the amount of salicylate in the blood to see if it is absorbed enough to reduce inflammation (salicylate is the main ingredient in aspirin and some other NSAIDs).
Laboratory Tests Laboratory Tests A doctor can often diagnose a musculoskeletal disorder based on the history and results of a physical exam. Doctors also use this test after diagnosis to monitor disease activity and understand how well treatment is working. Depending on the defect, inflammation can occur in the joints, muscles, internal organs, skin, blood vessels, eyes, or mucous membranes. The level of creatine kinase (a normal muscle enzyme that is filtered and released into the bloodstream when the muscle is damaged) can also be evaluated.
Measures the number of white blood cells, red blood cells, and platelets present in a blood sample. The test measures how quickly red blood cells stick to, fall and settle at the bottom of a glass tube within an hour, like sediment. Inserting a needle into a joint and aspirating or removing synovial fluid from the joint can provide the doctor with valuable information (synovial fluid is the slippery fluid that fills a joint and provides smoother movement). The most accurate way to assess bone density, needed to detect or diagnose osteopenia or osteoporosis Bone density test Osteoporosis is a condition in which a decrease in bone density weakens bones, making them likely to break (fractures).