Rhematoid Factor (RF)

The rheumatoid factor (RF) test finds out the amount of rheumatoid factor in the blood. Rheumatoid factor is a protein which is produced by the immune system. Rheumatoid factors mistakenly attack glands, joints and other normal cells. This test is done to diagnose rheumatoid arthritis, which is a type of autoimmune disorder that leads to swelling pain and stiffness in your joints. Additionally, rheumatoid factors may be a sign of autoimmune disorders like certain infections, juvenile arthritis, and even some types of cancer.

Why This Test Is Done?

RF blood test detects rheumatoid arthritis or other types of autoimmune disorders.

Symptoms of Rheumatoid Arthritis

You need to undergo RF test when you come across some of the following symptoms of rheumatoid arthritis:

  • Fatigue
  • Joint pain
  • Low-grade fever
  • Joint swelling
  • Joint stiffness

What Are The Results of This Test?

If rheumatoid factor is found in your blood, it may show:

  • Certain cancers like multiple myeloma or leukemia
  • Rheumatoid arthritis
  • An infection like tuberculosis and mononucleosis
  • Autoimmune disease like scleroderma, lupus, juvenile arthritis, or Sjogren's syndrome

It has been found that some healthy people, especially old ones are also having a positive rheumatoid factor. But, it is unclear why they are suffering from it. And some individuals who are having positive rheumatoid factor will have low levels of rheumatoid factor.