Does this test have other names?
Anticyclic citrullinated peptide, CCP antibodies, anti-CCP, anticitrullinated peptide
antibodies (ACPA), cyclic citrullinated peptide antibody
What is this test?
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 anticyclic citrullinated peptide (anti-CCP)
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 more specific
for RA than other tests.
What do my test results mean?
Test results may vary depending on your age, gender, health history, and other things.
Your test results may be different depending on the lab used. They 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:
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 illegal drugs you may use.