Rheumatoid Factor - Qualitative
What is RF Qual.?
Rheumatoid factor (RF) test determines the presence of rheumatoid antibodies in the body. These are the autoantibodies produced by body's own immune system that attack the healthy tissues of the body. Presence of high level of RF antibodies might indicate the presence of autoimmune disorders such as rheumatoid arthritis, lupus erythematosus and chronic infections like tuberculosis & leukemia.
Symptoms like joints pain, fatigue, weight loss, persistent fever, weakness, lumps formation indicate the sign of positive RF antibody.
A small amount of RF may be found in healthy individuals however high levels indicate the presence of certain autoimmune disorder or chronic infections. Further testing is recommended in these cases to diagnose a particular disorder.
Why is RF Qual. done?
To diagnose rheumatic diseases such as Rheumatoid arthritis
To diagnose autoimmune diseases such as Sjogren’s syndrome or Lupus Erythematosus
To diagnose chronic infections
What does RF Qual. Measure?
Rheumatoid factor (RF) attacks healthy body tissues as it mistakes them for foreign body tissues. It is not found in healthy persons. The presence of RF means that the body has an autoimmune disease such as Rheumatoid arthritis. Symptoms of Rheumatoid arthritis include stiffness of joints especially in morning, pain in joints, underlying skin nodules, loss of bone and swelling of joints.
Interpreting RF Qual. results
Positive Rheumatoid factor test indicates the high level of rheumatoid factor in the blood which is associated with Rheumatoid arthritis.
There are other conditions where RF test is positive that include:
Systemic Lupus erythematosus
Inflammatory lung diseases
Mixed connective tissue diseases