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Rheumatoid Factor

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RHEUMATOID FACTOR DEFINITION

Rheumatoid Factor or RF is a type of blood test to help measure the amount of RF antibody in the patient’s blood.

RHEUMATOID FACTOR PURPOSE

The RF blood test is done to help diagnose rheumatoid arthritis, Sjogren syndrome, and other inflammatory conditions. Several confirmatory tests are used to confirm what kind of medical condition is actually present. That is because high levels of RF may also mean many things.

RHEUMATOID FACTOR RISKS

There are hardly any risks involved with a blood test. However, people have different sizes of veins and arteries and such difference may cause difficulties in obtaining a blood sample from one patient to another. Infection is a common risk that comes with any procedure that involves breaking the skin. However, its possibility of occurrence in an RF blood test is very rare.

RHEUMATOID FACTOR PREPARATION REQUIRED

There are no special preparations required for patients undergoing an RF blood test.
RHEUMATOID FACTOR
Image: RHEUMATOID FACTOR

RHEUMATOID FACTOR PROCEDURE

Like any blood test, this is performed by drawing some blood from a vein in the arm and submitting the sample to the laboratory for examination.

RHEUMATOID FACTOR COMPLICATIONS

There are no known complications related to an RF blood test. However, very rare cases of infection, excessive bleeding, light-headedness, and hematoma may be present. If your symptoms are persistent or are becoming worse, you must consult a medical professional immediately.

RHEUMATOID FACTOR SIDE EFFECTS

Patients who undergo an RF blood test feel moderate pain while the blood sample is being drawn. Afterwards, they might also experience minor throbbing. But those are usually very mild cases and go away immediately.

RHEUMATOID FACTOR RESULTS

If high levels of rheumatoid factor are found in your blood, you will be given an RF positive result. That could lead to the diagnosis of rheumatoid arthritis or Sjorgen syndrome or any other inflammation-related disease. There are confirmatory tests that will help make your doctor have a definitive diagnosis, which is important in creating an effective treatment plan. Not everyone found with high levels of RF have rheumatoid arthritis or Sjorgen syndrome. In the same way, not everyone with those conditions have high rheumatoid factor. They can still have low or normal RF levels. That’s why it is best to talk to your doctor regarding your result and discuss what its indications may be.
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