Seronegative arthritis refers to inflammatory arthritis in which antibodies that help us diagnose rheumatoid arthritis, lupus and other rheumatic conditions are absent in the blood. So, it can look like rheumatoid arthritis but, in the absence of positive blood tests, we can’t say for sure that it is RA until a sufficient time has passed. At the end of that time, if no other signs and symptoms develop to suggest an alternate diagnosis like lupus, then we call it RA.
About Joan Bathon, M.D.
Dr. Bathon was a Co-Deputy Director of the Division of Rheumatology at Hopkins Bayview. She was also the founder and director of the Hopkins Arthritis Center.