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Psoriatic Arthritis Diagnosis

During a physical examination, the doctor will identify skin lesions, tenderness, and swelling of joints. Joint x-rays may be performed.

Basic diagnosis information for Psoriatic Arthritis

Skin and nail changes characteristic of psoriasis with accompanying arthritic symptoms are the hallmarks of psoriatic arthritis. A blood test for rheumatoid factor, antibodies that suggest the presence of rheumatoid arthritis, is negative in nearly all patients with psoriatic arthritis. X rays may show characteristic damage to the larger joints on either side of the body as well as fusion of the joints at the ends of the fingers and toes.

Test used in a Psoriatic Arthritis Diagnosis

X-rays to look for changes in your bones and joints

Blood tests to rule out other diseases, such as rheumatoid arthritis and document the presence of inflammation

Joint fluid tests to rule out gout, another arthritis-related disease that may resemble psoriatic arthritis. The joint fluid in most people with psoriatic contains many inflammatory cells and although the absence of uric acid crystals may rule out gout, many other inflammatory forms of arthritis will have a similar number of white cells in the fluid. The knee is the easiest joint from which to obtain joint fluid for analysis and can only be removed by putting a needle in the joint (the procedure is called arthrocentesis) if the joint is swollen.

It may take some time to determine if you have psoriatic arthritis. Usually, if your nails and skin are affected along with your joints, a concrete diagnosis can be made. In general, a rheumatologist (a physician trained in the diagnosis and treatment of arthritis) can recognize the features of psoriatic arthritis noted above in the setting of psoriasis and make a diagnosis. A firm diagnosis will have to wait the development of the skin disease. The skin disease or the arthritis may appear first.







This web site is intended for your own informational purposes only. No person or entity associated with this web site purports to be engaging in the practice of medicine through this medium. The information you receive is not intended as a substitute for the advice of a physician or other health care professional. If you have an illness or medical problem, contact your health care provider.

Arthritis can develop as a result of an infection. For example, bacteria that cause gonorrhea or Lyme disease can cause arthritis. Infectious arthritis can cause serious damage, but usually clears up completely with antibiotics. Scleroderma is a systemic disease that involves the skin, but may include problems with blood vessels, joints, and internal organs. Fibromyalgia syndrome is soft-tissue rheumatism that doesn't lead to joint deformity, but affects an estimated 5 million Americans, mostly women. The approximate number of cases in the United States of some common forms of arthritis. is an informational out reach of the Consumer Health Information Network. It is our goal to provide up to date information about arthritis and other inflammatory and bone conditions in a easy to understand format.

Where we get our information.

Most of the information in the site is compiled by editors from information provided by the National Institutes of Health. We are in the process of updating our pages. In the past we have not made reference to the source for information provide by our editors. In the next few weeks we hope to have all our pages marked as to the source.

We have included information from the National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases. Pages that uses information from this source are so acknowledged.

We have contributing authors that send information. Where information is provided by an outside author it is acknowledged by a byline under the title.

Updates of Pages.

Not all of our pages have a date as to the last update. We are in the processes of reviewing all our pages and as we do we include a reference as to when the page was updated. This web site was first published in January of 2003. All pages in the site were created at sometime during or after that time.