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Diagnostic Tests for Reiterís syndrome

Reiterís syndrome: Diagnostic Tests

The list of diagnostic tests mentioned in various sources as used in the diagnosis of Reiterís syndrome includes:

Home Diagnostic Testing

These home medical tests may be relevant to Reiterís syndrome:

Tests and diagnosis discussion for Reiterís syndrome:

Diagnosing Reiterís syndrome is often difficult because there is no specific test to confirm that a person has it. When a patient reports symptoms, the doctor must examine him or her carefully and rule out other causes of arthritis.

The doctor will take the patientís complete medical history, noting current symptoms as well as any previous diseases, problems, and infections. Because the symptoms of Reiterís syndrome can be vague, it is sometimes useful for the patient to keep a log of the symptoms that occur, when they occur, and for how long. It is especially important to report any flulike symptoms, such as fever, vomiting, or diarrhea, even if they were mild, because they may be associated with the initial bacterial infection.

The doctor may use various blood tests to help rule out other conditions and confirm a suspected diagnosis of Reiterís syndrome. Tests may be done to determine the presence of rheumatoid factor or antinuclear antibodies. Results of these tests are abnormal in patients with other types of arthritis such as rheumatoid arthritis or lupus, but they typically are normal in patients with Reiterís syndrome. Doctors may determine the erythrocyte sedimentation rate, or sed rate, which is the rate at which red blood cells settle at the bottom of a test tube of blood. An elevated sed rate indicates inflammation somewhere in the body. Typically, people with rheumatic diseases, including Reiterís syndrome, have an elevated sed rate. In some patients with suspected Reiterís syndrome, the doctor may do a blood test to determine the presence or absence of HLAĖB27.

The doctor is also likely to perform tests for infections that might be associated with Reiterís syndrome. Patients are generally tested for a Chlamydia infection because recent studies have shown that early treatment in Chlamydia-induced Reiterís syndrome may ameliorate the course of the disease. In many people with Reiterís syndrome, there is no clear evidence of infection at the time they are seen, although antibodies may be detected in the blood, indicating that an infection was present in the past. The doctor may test samples of cells taken from the patientís throat as well as the urethra in men or cervix in women. Urine and stool samples may also be tested. The synovial fluid (the fluid that lubricates the joints) or the membrane (synovium) that lines the joint may be removed from the joint affected by arthritis. Studies of the fluid or the synovium can help the doctor make certain there is no infection in the joint.

Doctors sometimes use X rays to help establish a diagnosis of Reiterís syndrome and rule out other causes of arthritis. Common findings on X rays of patients with Reiterís syndrome include spondylitis, sacroiliitis, swelling of soft tissues, damage to cartilage or bone margins of the joint, and bone deposits where the tendon attaches to the bone. (Source: excerpt from Questions and Answers About Reiter's Syndrome: NIAMS)


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