Rheumatoid Factor (cont.)

Medical Author:
Medical Editor:

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.

What significance does the 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.

Medically Reviewed by a Doctor on 8/24/2015

Rheumatoid Arthritis (RA) Pictures Slideshow

Patient Comments

Viewers share their comments

Rheumatoid Factor - Testing Question: Did you test positive for rheumatoid factor? How did your treatment progress?