Rheumatoid Factor (RA) Blood Test
The Rheumatoid Factor Blood Test measures rheumatoid factor levels in the blood to screen for rheumatoid arthritis and other autoimmune disorders.
What is the purpose of this test?
Order this Rheumatoid Factor Blood Test to measure rheumatoid factor levels in the blood to screen for rheumatoid arthritis and other autoimmune disorders. Rheumatoid factors (RF) are proteins the immune system produces in response to a detected foreign substance mistakenly identified as harmful. Usually, the immune system produces antibodies to combat pathogens (viruses or bacteria) that could cause infections or illness. However, rheumatoid factors are antibodies, or autoantibodies, that mistakenly attack healthy cells and tissues. This condition is known as an autoimmune disorder.
Individuals may order this Rheumatoid Factor Blood Test and other lab tests, like the CCP Antibody Blood Test, to help diagnose rheumatoid arthritis (RA). RA is an autoimmune disorder characterized by damage to the joints and severe pain, swelling, and stiffness. RA is a chronic condition that, as it progresses, can also cause damage to the organs and other health problems.
What other conditions cause elevated levels of rheumatoid factor?
Elevated levels of rheumatoid factor may indicate rheumatoid arthritis, other autoimmune disorders, certain infections, and certain types of cancer. Conditions that may cause high levels of rheumatoid factor may include:
- Sjogren syndrome
- Juvenile idiopathic arthritis
- Chronic infections (Hepatitis C, tuberculosis, endocarditis)
- Cancer (leukemia)
When should I order a Rheumatoid Factor Blood Test?
Individuals may order an ANA-IFA Blood Test if they have experienced symptoms associated with an autoimmune disorder. Common symptoms of autoimmune disorders include:
- Loss of appetite
- Inflammation or joint pain and swelling
- Muscle pain
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