Rheumatoid factor = 38

by Nathan Wei, MD, FACP, FACR

Nathan Wei is a nationally known board-certified rheumatologist and author of the Second Opinion Arthritis Treatment Kit. It's available exclusively at this website... not available in stores.

Click here: Second Opinion Arthritis Treatment Kit

Rheumatoid factor is a laboratory test that is used to help confirm the diagnosis of rheumatoid arthritis. Different laboratories have different ranges of positivity.

A positive rheumatoid factor does not necessarily indicate rheumatoid arthritis. Positive rheumatoid factors can be seen in a number of other conditions including: sarcoidosis, infectious endocarditis, syphilis, leprosy, and normal aging.

A negative rheumatoid factor does not exclude the diagnosis of rheumatoid arthritis. Early in the disease, the rheumatoid factor can be negative and 20 per cent of patients with RA will be persistently negative for rheumatoid factor throughout the course of their illness.

The level of rheumatoid factor does fluctuate with the level of disease activity in many patients.

A more specific laboratory test for rheumatoid arthritis is the anti-cyclic citrullinated peptide antibody (Anti-CCP) test.

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