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Does this test have other names?

Anti-cyclic citrullinated peptide, CCP antibodies, anti-CCP, anticitrullinated peptide antibodies, ACPA

What is this test?

This blood test checks for an amino acid called citrulline. Citrulline is present when you have rheumatoid arthritis (RA).

RA attacks 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, or anti-CCP, antibodies.

Why do I need this test?

You may have this test 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. 

What other tests might I have along with this test?

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 so specific.

What do my test results mean?

Many things may affect your lab test results. These include the method each lab uses to do the test. Even if your test results are different from the normal value, you may not have a problem. To learn what the results mean for you, talk with your healthcare provider.

In general, testing positive for anti-CCP antibodies is a good indication that you have rheumatoid arthritis.

But a positive result might mean you have:

  • Another autoimmune rheumatic disease such as lupus or Sjögren syndrome

  • Tuberculosis

  • Chronic lung disease

How is this test done?

The test requires a blood sample, which is drawn through a needle from a vein in your arm.

Does this test pose any risks?

Taking a blood sample with a needle carries risks that include bleeding, infection, bruising, or feeling dizzy. When the needle pricks your arm, you may feel a slight stinging sensation or pain. Afterward, the site may be slightly sore.

What might affect my test results?

Other factors aren't likely to affect your results. 

How do I get ready for this test?

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 illicit drugs you may use. 

Medical Reviewers:

  • Sather, Rita, RN
  • Snyder, Mandy, APRN