High levels may be found in rheumatoid arthritis as well as other autoimmune diseases.
PLEASE NOTE: ALL RESULTS AND INFORMATION PROVIDED BY HEALTH eLABS ARE INTENDED FOR GENERAL HEALTH INFORMATION PURPOSES ONLY. AS SUCH THEY ARE NOT A SUBSTITUTE FOR PROFESSIONAL MEDICAL ADVICE OR A MEDICAL EXAMINATION, AND SHOULD NOT BE USED TO DIAGNOSE, TREAT, PREVENT OR CURE ANY DISEASE, SYNDROME, OR CONDITION WITHOUT THE SUPERVISION OF A LICENSED PHYSICIAN.
This test can also be purchased as part of our Autoimmune panel.
PREPARATION: No fasting or other special preparation is needed for this test.
What does this test do?
This test determines the presence and concentration of a group of autoantibodies called rheumatoid factor circulating in the bloodstream.
Why is this important?
Rheumatoid factor is commonly found in persons afflicted by rheumatoid arthritis. As such, it is often measured in patients with unexplained joint pain, or in those suspected of having any form of arthritis.
What do the results mean?
A positive rheumatoid factor test indicates that a high level of these autoantibodies were detected.
This by itself does not indicate the presence of rheumatoid arthritis, however, as rheumatoid factor may also be seen with other conditions (such as Sjogren’s syndrome, Systemic lupus erythematosus, or other inflammatory diseases).
Even more confusing, rheumatoid factor can sometimes be found in healthy (especially older) people, while others who have known autoimmune disease may have normal levels of rheumatoid factor.
So this test is best used in combination with a physician’s evaluation of signs and symptoms, where it can be very helpful in diagnosing – or ruling out – rheumatoid arthritis as a cause of joint pain.