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Antinuclear Antibody, Rheumatoid Factor, and Cyclic-Citrullinated Peptide Testing for the Evaluation of Musculoskeletal Complaints in Pediatric Populations

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Background: Musculoskeletal Pain

Musculoskeletal (MSK) pain affects muscles, bones, ligaments, tendons, and nerves. Childhood MSK pain is common, with published prevalence estimates ranging from 2 up to 50 percent. Children may have difficulty characterizing their symptoms, making assessment based on patient history and physical examination difficult. The presence of specific clinical characteristics such as morning stiffness, joint swelling, malar rash, and cytopenias may lead to a high suspicion of a pediatric rheumatic condition.