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Patient Preparation: No special preparation is required
The doctor will order an RF test for you if you display symptoms of rheumatoid arthritis. These include: Joint pain, stiffness in the joint especially in the morning, swelling in joints, fatigue and sometimes a low-grade fever.
Rheumatoid factor is an autoantibody, an immunoglobulin M protein that is produced by the body's immune system. Autoantibodies attack a person's own tissues mistakenly identifying the tissue as “foreign”. There is no clear idea on what Rheumatoid factor does in the body, its presence in the body indicates inflammation or autoimmune activity. This test is a valuable test for helping to diagnose rheumatoid arthritis. It has been seen that in 80% of the cases, those who have Rheumatoid Arthritis will test positive for Rheumatoid Factor. However, RF may also be detected in people with a variety of other disorders. Some of these disorders include Sjogren syndrome, as well as persistent bacterial, viral a parasitic infections and certain cancers. It may sometimes be seen in those with lung disease, liver disease and kidney disease and it can be found in a small percentage of healthy people.
It is possible that is some people RF test results may be negative even if they have Rheumatoid Arthritis. In such patients, follow up tests like CCP antibody test are done to confirm Rheumatoid Arthritis.
Sample: Serum (2 mL)