- Rheumatoid Arthritis Slideshow Pictures
- Take the RA Quiz
- Joint-Friendly Exercises to Reduce RA Pain Slideshow
- Patient Comments: Rheumatoid Factor - Testing
- Rheumatoid factor (RF) facts
- What is rheumatoid factor?
- What is the normal range for rheumatoid factor?
- For what is the rheumatoid factor test used?
- Can rheumatoid factor be present in a patient without rheumatoid arthritis?
- What significance do high levels of rheumatoid factor hold for patients with rheumatoid arthritis?
Quick GuideRheumatoid Arthritis Symptoms and Treatment
Can rheumatoid factor be present in a patient without rheumatoid arthritis?
Yes. Rheumatoid factor is also present in patients with other conditions, including other connective tissue diseases (such as systemic lupus erythematosus and Sjögren's syndrome), some infectious diseases (such as infectious hepatitis, syphilis, infectious mononucleosis, parasites, and tuberculosis), liver disease, and sarcoidosis. Rheumatoid factor can also sometimes be present in normal individuals without diseases. This occurs more frequently in people with family members who have rheumatoid arthritis. So precise interpretation of rheumatoid factors requires a complete knowledge of the patient's history and medical status.
What significance do high levels of rheumatoid factor hold for patients with rheumatoid arthritis?
High levels of rheumatoid factor are associated with a tendency toward more severe rheumatoid disease. This factor is also associated with a higher tendency to develop non-joint manifestations of rheumatoid disease, such as rheumatoid nodules and rheumatoid lung disease.
Klippel, J.H., et al. Primer on the Rheumatic Diseases. New York: Springer, 2008.