Assessing and Monitoring RA

Why are Regular Assessment and Monitoring of RA Important?

Once your doctor has made a diagnosis, you should work with your doctor to monitor your RA disease activity over time. Guidelines from the American College of Rheumatology recommend that an assessment of disease activity be performed at every office visit, however you may also find it beneficial to track how you are feeling between visits with a tool such as MyRA.

Monitoring your RA disease activity over time helps with:

  • Understanding if your RA is getting better or worse. Getting your RA under control quickly is important because chronic inflammation from RA can result in joint damage or other conditions such as heart disease
  • Knowing if your therapy is working or if an adjustment needs to be made
  • Enabling you to set a goal and track your progress towards the goal


Testimonial: Beth and Meredith, RA Patient Advocates


Tools for Assessing and Monitoring RA

There are several different ways that you and your doctor can monitor your RA. Your doctor may:

  • evaluate your joints
  • ask you questions about how you feel
  • order lab tests
  • perform imaging (such as ultrasound or x-ray)

Often your doctor will use a combination of these to gain a more complete picture of your RA.


The Role of Multiple Biomarkers in Assessing and Monitoring RA

While a measure of outward signs and symptoms is critical, joint evaluations and questionnaires are subjective tools and may be impacted by other factors. Everyone living with RA has an individual disease biology, and similarly each person experiences swelling, tenderness, and pain differently.

The Vectra blood test allows your doctor to look beneath the surface, providing an objective measure that can complement information about your signs and symptoms. Unlike traditional lab tests for RA that typically measure inflammation indirectly or only 1 inflammatory protein (such as c-reactive protein), Vectra measures 12 key proteins that represent multiple biological pathways.

Vectra can provide your doctor with a new level of insight, allowing for a more complete assessment of RA disease activity to help guide the management of the disease.


Tracking RA Between Doctor’s Visits

MyRA is a free mobile app you can use to track the symptoms of your rheumatoid arthritis between visits with your doctor. You can easily share the information with your doctor. Download it here.

With MyRA, you can:

  • Track your joint pain, morning stiffness, and fatigue
  • Record your daily functioning
  • Generate a visual summary of your data over time
  • Communicate with your doctor about your RA