Rheumatoid Arthritis Factor Titre Automated Blood Test gives an estimate of how many Rheumatoid factor antibodies (RF antibodies) are 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 bacteria and viruses. But, rheumatoid factors are autoantibodies that 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 performed?
This test is one among many primary tests performed to detect or diagnose the presence of autoimmune disorders such as rheumatoid arthritis. This test is performed by diluting a portion of the blood sample in a diluent. One part of the blood sample is diluted in different concentrations of diluent and being tested for the presence of Rheumatoid factor antibodies. If the test gives a positive result each time, it will be repeated by diluting into more lower concentration.
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, 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.
Some disease conditions may alter your test results making it positive, such as Hepatitis C; Sarcoidosis, which is 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 is a feature of systemic lupus erythematosus; mixed cryoglobulinemia, which is a rare disorder characterized by the cryoglobulins in blood. Hence, inform your doctor or technician about all your current medical conditions prior to the test.
Inform your doctor if you are on any medications, have any allergies or underlying medical conditions before your RA Titre. Your doctor will give specific instructions depending on your condition on how to prepare for RA Titre.
No specific preparation is required for this test.
The normal test results may vary depending on gender, age, and health history, etc.
If the RF titer test results with every dilution give a positive result, it indicates the presence of RF antibodies in the blood. If RF antibodies are still detected at the lowest concentrated dilution, it shows that you have a higher number of RF antibodies present in the blood. The highest titers are often found in severe cases of rheumatoid arthritis.
A positive result may indicate the presence of rheumatoid arthritis. Presence of RF antibodies can be seen in individuals with systemic lupus erythematosus or with any other types of autoimmune disorders. Therefore a positive RF titer 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 RF antibodies in their blood. Women older than 65 may also show positive RF Titer test without any disease. Some infections such as autoimmune hepatitis, cancer or use of certain medicines may give a positive RF titer test.
Based on your test results, your doctor may advise you appropriate medical treatments or further diagnostic tests.
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