Interpreting pediatric rheumatology laboratory tests can seem daunting. This In Brief describes key rheumatology laboratory tests related to the evaluation and management of childhood rheumatologic diseases. Most pediatric rheumatology diseases are clinical diagnoses in which laboratory tests help confirm physicians’ clinical reasoning. Hence, pediatricians need to be familiar with the clinical manifestations of the different entities to inform the ordering of appropriate tests. However, general laboratory tests can be completed to evaluate for mimicries such as infection and malignancy. When in doubt, a referral to a pediatric rheumatologist is advised.

Nonspecific inflammatory markers, including C-reactive protein (CRP) and erythrocyte sedimentation rate (ESR), can be useful components of diagnosing and managing pediatric rheumatologic diseases. CRP is a protein produced by the liver in response to inflammation, which can be elevated in infectious, malignant, and rheumatologic processes. Among rheumatologic diseases, the CRP level is often highly elevated in systemic juvenile idiopathic arthritis...

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