Psoriatic Arthritis – Diagnosis

Psoriatic Arthritis – Diagnosis


(gentle music) – Diagnosing psoriatic
arthritis is not black or white. As with any rheumatologic disease, we have a set of criteria. And this set of criteria
includes an examination by the physician determining if the joints are swollen, tender. And that includes a blood test to exclude rheumatoid arthritis. It counts if the blood test is negative, not if the blood test is positive. If the blood test is positive,
certainly we are concerned for another rheumatologic disease, and there’s care needed for that. But many patients will tell me, “Okay, everything’s negative. “Do I have psoriatic arthritis?” And it turns out that in some cases, yes. So a blood test and then, in addition to physical examination, sometimes an X-ray or
radiograph of the hands or feet will also help establishing a baseline and seeing if there’s any prior
damage that fits really well with a pattern of damage that would be caused
by psoriatic arthritis. And in many cases, this may be subtle. There may not be a deformity that’s readily seen by examination, and that’s the whole
point of doing the test. You wanna detect disease before it’s caused visible
or irreversible damage. A lot of what patients tell us around the symptoms and their experience prompts us to look for this
diagnostic criteria, yeah. Skin disease is a big part of it, if I haven’t already mentioned. There’s different
degrees of the psoriasis. Some people may just have
a patch of scalp psoriasis that never really bothers them that much, but the arthritis is the
predominant manifestation. So that could be it, minor skin disease, or no skin disease at all. That is possible as well. Usually those people will have at least the nail psoriasis
form which affects the nails and then most commonly the closest joints that are located to the
nails in the hands or feet. (gentle music)

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