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Old 08-30-2010, 11:27 AM   #1
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Costochondritis/Inflammation/blood test question…

I’ve been told I have some inflammation on my ribs (there is a swelling that is visible). It is very painful also. I had blood work done 2 weeks ago and my ESR was 4 and CRP was <3 (both in the normal range). If I have this inflammation then why aren’t the blood tests off?

 
Old 08-30-2010, 12:13 PM   #2
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Re: Costochondritis/Inflammation/blood test question…

I'm sorry, I can't answer your question. I have visible inflammation around all the joints in my hands, feet, wrists and ankles. Yet, the last time my blood was tested two months ago, my ESR and CRP were in the normal range. I received a new requisition for blood work a couple of days ago. In addition to the usual tests (ENA, ESR and CRP; and anti-CCP which in my case is positive), this requisition includes a few new ones as follows:
  • dsDNA (which is specific for lupus)
  • Complement C3 and C4 (which apparently rise before ESR and CRP)

The complement system is a group of proteins that work with the immune system. They play a role in the development of inflammation. Perhaps you could ask if it would be appropriate for you to have your blood tested for C3 and C4. This might give you an early confirmation of inflammation.

 
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Old 08-30-2010, 12:22 PM   #3
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Re: Costochondritis/Inflammation/blood test question…

Quote:
Originally Posted by Sensitivo View Post
I'm sorry, I can't answer your question. I have visible inflammation around all the joints in my hands, feet, wrists and ankles. Yet, the last time my blood was tested two months ago, my ESR and CRP were in the normal range. I received a new requisition for blood work a couple of days ago. In addition to the usual tests (ENA, ESR and CRP; and anti-CCP which in my case is positive), this requisition includes a few new ones as follows:
  • dsDNA (which is specific for lupus)
  • Complement C3 and C4 (which apparently rise before ESR and CRP)

The complement system is a group of proteins that work with the immune system. They play a role in the development of inflammation. Perhaps you could ask if it would be appropriate for you to have your blood tested for C3 and C4. This might give you an early confirmation of inflammation.
Thanks! Wow, I didn't realize there were different levels of testing for inflammation markers! I did have that dsDNA test done which was negative. I will have to ask about the C3 and C4.

Last edited by Stabevrian; 08-30-2010 at 12:23 PM.

 
Old 08-30-2010, 03:45 PM   #4
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Re: Costochondritis/Inflammation/blood test question…

Hi Stabevrian....I've battled costochondritis for about 30 years. It comes and goes and has slowly involved my entire rib cage. I have both primary OA(osteoarthritis) and primary RA(rheumatoid arthritis) with secondary Sjogren's Syndrome and secondary gout. If it can get arthritis, I've got it.

Costochondritis can occur not just from inflammation but from injury. Have you had anything hit that area? That would not raise the inflammatory markers.

But even if it is from inflammation, it may be too early to find inflammatory markers in your blood. And there are inflammatory disorders whose main blood feature is that there are no positive markers at all!

One of the things that needs to be explained is the word "inflammation". Anything on your body that is swollen and red and even warm or hot but not infected, is called inflamed. But inflammatory markers are used to find diseases that are inflaming the body through a disorder of the immune system. So your rib cage may be inflamed but the cause may not be an inflammatory disorder but injury or just a bad spot on the ribs that got inflamed.

So no inflammatory markers may just mean it's an isolated case of rib inflammation and will go way but you don't have a disease causing it.

Only time will tell.

good luck and keep us informed...........Jenny

 
Old 03-31-2011, 06:25 AM   #5
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Re: Costochondritis/Inflammation/blood test question…

Hi Jenny,
In a conversation from late summer early fall 2010 you said "there are inflammatory disorders whose main blood feature is that there are no positive markers at all!" ... I am desperate to know what these diseases are, and where I may be able to locate some information and/or list of names. I have been battling the health system and doctors for close to 4 years now trying to find an answer for my many symptoms which present very much like one or more auto immune diseases but do not reflect as such in blood work. I can be clearly, very visibly inflamed in my joints, face, lymph glands, but my blood work always comes back with low sed rate levels, crp, and so forth. In 2008 I had biopsy's on both an extremely swollen lymph gland and one of my many skin wounds/lesions, both of which showed a vague explanation of "extreme number of inflammatory cells" but on the same days I got those biopsies, the blood work showed no inflammatory markers. I continue to ask the doctors why, but not one has taken the time to consider the situation as it is, and looked outside of their little box - Instead, because my blood work does not show what they look for to diagnose, they are telling me I am just fine, they can't help me, and pass me on to a different specialty. I would be sooo grateful for any info!!! Thanks!!!!

 
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