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The Role of the Laboratory in the Diagnosis of Rheumatoid Arthritis

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August 2011

Rheumatoid arthritis (RA) is a systemic autoimmune disease characterized by chronic joint inflammation that ultimately leads to joint destruction. Diagnosis of early disease is important. While the diagnosis of RA is established primarily on clinical criteria (physical examination and radiographic evaluation), laboratory testing for cyclic citrullinated peptide antibodies contributes to early RA diagnosis.


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