The rheumatoid arthritis (RA) latex turbid test is a laboratory test that’s used to help your doctor diagnose rheumatoid arthritis and other autoimmune diseases.
Rheumatoid arthritis (RA) is a chronic disease that leads to inflammation of your joints. In some cases, the inflammation may be so severe that it affects how your joints function. It can also cause joint deformities.
Generally speaking, a higher-than-normal RA latex turbid test result is indicative of RA.
However, you can still have a higher-than-normal test result and not have RA. There are a number of other diseases or conditions that can cause a high result value. These include:
- cancer, such as multiple myeloma or leukemia
- viral infections, particularly HIV, parvovirus, infectious mononucleosis, or hepatitis
- parasitic infections
- liver or lung disease
Additionally, a higher-than-normal test result can also be found in older adults and in a low percentage of healthy people.
In order to help confirm a diagnosis of RA following a high RA turbid latex test result, your doctor may order additional tests. The tests may include:
- Cyclic citrullinated peptide (CCP) antibody test. Similar to the RA latex turbid test, this test also assesses the presence of another specific type of antibody commonly found in people with RA. This antibody appears early in the disease.
- Erythrocyte sedimentation rate (ESR) test. It measures how fast your red blood cells settle at the bottom of a glass tube after an hour. The faster the red blood cells settle, the larger the amount of inflammation present.
- C-reactive protein (CRP) test. This blood test measures a substance that is produced by your liver. High levels indicate a high level of inflammation. This test is thought to be a more sensitive indicator of inflammation than the ESR test.
- Musculoskeletal ultrasound. This imaging test can detect inflammation.
- X-rays. Your doctor may also use X-ray images to check for inflammation in your joints. X-rays can show osteopenia, an early sign of inflammation. The hallmark X-ray change for RA is erosion.
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