How Do They Test for Psoriatic Arthritis?

Ask a Doctor

I’m about to go see my doctor about new joint pain. I’ve had problems with psoriasis since my 20s, so I worry it’s psoriatic arthritis. What tests are used to diagnose psoriatic arthritis?

Doctor's Response

See your doctor if you have joint pain or tenderness. Your health care provider should be consulted for skin or nail problems as well.

No specific tests are available to determine if you have psoriatic arthritis. Your health care provider will base the diagnosis on X-ray findings and on your signs and symptoms. Your doctor may perform blood tests to assess your arthritis.

Radiographic features on plain film X-rays, CT scan, and MRI scan can be used to distinguish psoriatic arthritis from other types of arthritis.

Health care professionals who treat patients with psoriatic arthritis include primary-care providers, rheumatologists, dermatologists, radiologists, orthopedic surgeons, and physical therapists.

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References
Klippel, J.H., et al. Primer on the Rheumatic Diseases. New York: Springer, 2008.