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CCP

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 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. 

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?

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 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 is done with a blood sample. A needle is used to draw blood from a vein in your arm or hand. 

Does this test pose any risks?

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. 

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:

  • Greco, Frank MD
  • Sather, Rita, RN