Tests & Diagnosis

Laboratory blood tests (hematology) is required to test for polymyalgia rheumatica, to determine:

  • ESR – Erythrocyte sedimentation rate, which indicates the rate at which red blood cells sediment, a measure of inflammation. ESR is increased by any cause or focus of inflammation in the body.
  • CRP – C-reactive protein, a protein found in the blood, the levels of which rise in response to inflammation.
  • CBC – complete blood count, a test used to diagnose anemia, a common side effect of people with PMR.

Polymyalgia rheumatica is diagnosed clinically, based on signs, symptoms and laboratory findings; other (differential) diagnoses must be ruled out due to their similarity with the symptoms of PMR:

  • Giant cell arteritis (GCA)
  • Fibromyalgia
  • Hyperthyroidism
  • Depression
  • Polymyositis
  • Infection
  • Rheumatoid arthritis

Only a physician can tell you if you have polymyalgia rheumatica, or any of the conditions listed here.