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RA Factor Test

Also known as Rheumatoid Arthritis Factor Automated Blood
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What is this test?

Rheumatoid Arthritis Factor Semi-Quantitative / Qualitative Blood Test gives a range of Rheumatoid factor antibodies (RF antibodies) levels present in the blood. It is helpful in diagnosing rheumatoid arthritis. Rheumatoid arthritis is an autoimmune disorder which causes swelling and stiffness of the joints followed by pain.

What are Rheumatoid Factors?

Rheumatoid factors are autoantibodies made of proteins produced by the immune system. Antibodies are usually normal proteins present in our blood. It is produced by our immune system to fight against foreign substances such as bacterias and viruses. But rheumatoid factors which are autoantibodies attack healthy glands, joints, and other normal cells. Rheumatoid factors cause chronic inflammation. Rheumatoid factors may also indicate other autoimmune disorders like juvenile arthritis, lupus erythematosus, Sjogren syndrome, or some types of cancers.

Why this test is recommended?

This test is one among many primary tests performed to detect or diagnose the presence of autoimmune disorders such as rheumatoid arthritis. Your doctor may ask you to perform this test if he suspects rheumatoid arthritis or if you experience symptoms of rheumatoid arthritis such as muscle pain, a stiffness of joints in the morning, swollen joints with warmth, severe joint pain, nodules under the skin, low-grade fever, fatigue, and tingling or numbing sensation in your hands, etc. This test is also recommended for individuals with a family history of rheumatoid arthritis. In case of a positive result, your doctor may ask you to perform a few more additional tests along with this test to rule out rheumatoid arthritis.

Precautions:

Some disease conditions may alter your test results making it positive, such as Hepatitis C, Sarcoidosis (an inflammatory disease that affects multiple areas of the body), dermatomyositis (an inflammatory condition of skin), polymyositis (a condition in which skeletal muscle gets inflamed and degenerated throughout the body), mixed connective tissue disease (a feature of systemic lupus erythematosus), mixed cryoglobulinemia (a rare disorder characterized by the cryoglobulins in blood). Hence, inform your doctor or technician about all your current medical conditions and medications you take prior to the test.

Also known as RA Factor Quantitative Automated Blood, RF Test, RA Factor Automated, RA Factor Quantitative Automated, Rheumatoid Arthritis Factor Automated.

Test Preparation

Inform your doctor if you are on any medications, have any allergies or underlying medical conditions before your RA Factor Test. Your doctor will give specific instructions depending on your condition on how to prepare for RA Factor Test.

No specific preparation is needed for RA factor blood test.

Understanding your test results

The normal test results may vary depending on gender, age, and health history, etc.

If the RF Semi-Quantitative Blood test results are above the normal range, it may indicate the presence of rheumatoid arthritis. Presence of high levels of RF antibodies can be seen in individuals with systemic lupus erythematosus, or with any other types of autoimmune disorders. Therefore, this test result does not clearly confirm that you have Rheumatoid arthritis. Your doctor may ask you to perform a few more additional tests along with this test to rule out rheumatoid arthritis.

Many healthy individuals may also have increased levels of RF antibodies in their blood. Women older than 65 years of age may also show the presence of high levels of RF antibodies without any disease. Some infections, autoimmune hepatitis, cancer, or the use of certain medicines may show the presence of high levels of RF antibodies.

If the RF Semi-Quantitative Blood test results are below the normal range, it may indicate that the likelihood of having rheumatoid arthritis is less. However, your doctor may ask you to perform a few more additional tests along with this test to confirm the diagnosis.

Based on your test results, your doctor may advise you appropriate medical treatments or further diagnostic tests.

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