Two main types of rheumatoid arthritis are seropositive and seronegative. Researchers rheumatoid arthritis and spondylitis to further identify subtypes to provide personalized treatment.
Different symptoms and progression rates turn up in different patients. Though it isn’t totally clear what drives these differences, researchers do know that it largely depends on genetics. Further and further, researchers are finding ways to classify the types and sub-types of rheumatoid arthritis by the actual symptoms patients experience, in addition to other factors. Because of the progressive nature of the disease as well as its tendency to evolve over time, it may be that patients are told they have multiple types or subtypes over the course of their lives.
This will help provide more personalized therapy and medical treatment options. As of now, there is a primary way of defining the type of rheumatoid arthritis a patient has. This difference can determine treatment options. These are the antibodies that attack the body and produce the symptoms of rheumatoid arthritis. CCPs, meaning it is a reliable indicator for diagnosis. The presence of these antibodies can be detected as early as 5 to 10 years before clinical rheumatoid arthritis symptoms appear.
It’s still possible for patients to develop rheumatoid arthritis without the presence of antibodies in their blood. This is referred to as seronegative type rheumatoid arthritis. Seronegative patients are those who do not test positive for the anti-CCPs or another antibody called rheumatoid factor. Though seronegative patients lack the antibodies that help doctors diagnose the condition, they can still be diagnosed with rheumatoid arthritis in a number of ways. These include the demonstration of clinical rheumatoid arthritis symptoms, as well as X-ray results indicating patterns of cartilage and bone deterioration. Though it’s possible for seronegative patients to have milder rheumatoid arthritis symptoms than seropositive patients, this isn’t always the case. It can still depend on a number of factors, including genetics and other underlying conditions as well.
Unfortunately, many seronegative patients may not respond to typical rheumatoid arthritis symptoms. This provides further motivation for researchers to identify rheumatoid arthritis sub-types in order to provide treatment for those who don’t have any long-term solutions as of now. Whether or not a rheumatoid arthritis patient possesses the rheumatoid factor is another type or classification of the disease. Rheumatoid factor is another antibody that is used to determine the presence of the autoimmune disorder that causes rheumatoid arthritis.