Anti-cyclic citrullinated peptide, CCP antibodies, anti-CCP, anticitrullinated peptide antibodies (ACPA), cyclic citrullinated peptide antibody
This blood test checks for an amino acid called citrulline. Citrulline is present when you have rheumatoid arthritis (RA).
RA occurs when your immune system attacks normal cells in your joints. Citrulline is a byproduct of joint damage. In response, your body often makes antibodies against citrulline. These antibodies are called anti-cyclic citrullinated peptide (anti-CCP) antibodies.
You may need this test if your healthcare provider is trying to find out whether you have RA. Even in the early stages of the disease, the CCP test can give healthcare providers a clear idea of how quickly your symptoms may get worse. The results can also help your providers figure out the treatment you will need.
This test is also a good choice if other tests for RA don't have definite results.
Your healthcare provider may order other tests for RA. The most common are joint X-rays or scans and blood tests to check your level of rheumatoid factor. But healthcare providers are beginning to use the anti-CCP test more often because it is more specific for RA than other tests.
Test results may vary depending on your age, gender, health history, the method used for the test, and other things. Your test results may not mean you have a problem. Ask your healthcare provider what your test results mean for you.
In general, testing positive for anti-CCP antibodies along with symptoms may mean that you have RA.
But a positive result might also mean you have:
Another autoimmune rheumatic disease, such as lupus or Sjögren syndrome
Chronic lung disease
The test is done with a blood sample. A needle is used to draw blood from a vein in your arm or hand.
Having a blood test with a needle carries some risks. These include bleeding, infection, bruising, and feeling lightheaded. When the needle pricks your arm or hand, you may feel a slight sting or pain. Afterward, the site may be sore.
Other factors aren't likely to affect your results.
You don't need to prepare for this test. Be sure your healthcare provider knows about all medicines, herbs, vitamins, and supplements you are taking. This includes medicines that don't need a prescription and any illegal drugs you may use.