What Is Sero Negative Arthritis?

  • Medical Author:
    William C. Shiel Jr., MD, FACP, FACR

    Dr. Shiel received a Bachelor of Science degree with honors from the University of Notre Dame. There he was involved in research in radiation biology and received the Huisking Scholarship. After graduating from St. Louis University School of Medicine, he completed his Internal Medicine residency and Rheumatology fellowship at the University of California, Irvine. He is board-certified in Internal Medicine and Rheumatology.

Ask the experts

I have a relative that found out that she has what the doctor has explained as "0-negative arthritis." I have never heard of this kind of arthritis and am wondering if it has a common name. Thank you for your help.

Doctor's response

I believe your relative actually has what is referred to as "Sero Negative Arthritis." This is a form of arthritis that is characterized by inflammation (hot, swollen, tender, painful, stiff) of joints, but is not associated with the classic blood test for rheumatoid arthritis called rheumatoid factor. We refer to these patients as being rheumatoid factor negative in their serum, or seronegative.

The term is nonspecific, and it is possible for a patient's condition to evolve at a later time into a more classical, identifiable disease.

Medically reviewed by John A. Daller, MD; American Board of Surgery with subspecialty certification in surgical critical care


"Undifferentiated early inflammatory arthritis in adults"

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Reviewed on 8/29/2017