Rheumatoid Factor - Qualitative

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Test Interpretations
Patient Concerns

Overview of Rheumatoid Factor - Qualitative

Test Description

Rheumatoid factor is an IgM antibody produced by the body's immune system. The rheumatoid factor test is a valuable test for helping to diagnose Rheumatoid arthritis. About 80% people with RA will have positive rheumatoid factor. Although, rheumatoid factor is positive in other autoimmune disorders also like SLE, Sjogren syndrome etc.

Why Get Tested

  1. It is ordered when you have signs or symptoms of rheumatoid arthritis like pain or swelling in the joints and morning stiffness
  2. It is also used to differentiate Rheumatoid arthritis from other forms of arthritis


  • No special preparation required

Test Interpretations of Rheumatoid Factor - Qualitative


  • The readings are usually read in conjunction with person’s symptoms and clinical history. The presence of significant concentrations of rheumatoid factor usually indicates rheumatoid arthritis
  • However, positive RF test may be seen in SLE, scleroderma, endocarditis, tuberculosis etc. 
  • A negative test usually rules out rheumatoid arthritis

Patient Concerns about Rheumatoid Factor - Qualitative

Frequently Asked Questions

Q. Is the RF test diagnostic?
No, it is not a completely diagnostic test since levels may be increased in other diseases as well. Anti cyclic citrulinated peptide (Anti CCP) test should be done along with Rheumatoid factor test to diagnose Rheumatoid arthritis.

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