Rheumatoid Factor

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Latest Edit: Hector 2014-03-24 (EDT)

See Also Lab Tests

This test is used to help diagnose rheumatoid arthritis (RA) and Sjogren syndrome. It is usually conducted when a patient presents with fatigue, joint pain, weakness, or dry eyes or dry mouth. [1], [2]


  • Rheumatoid factor or RH is an autoantibody, an IgM or immunoglobulin M protein, that is produced by the body's immune system.
  • Autoantibodies attack a person's own tissues, mistaking the tissue as "foreign".
  • The presence of RF is therefore useful as an indicator of inflammatory and autoimmune activity.

Patient Preparation

  • No prep is required.
  • Factors which can cause increased levels:
  • age

Clinical Implications

High levels indicate:

Low levels indicate:

  • None noted

Associated Tests


  1. Pagana Kathleen D, Pagana Timothy J (2006) Mosby's Manual of Diagnostic and Laboratory Tests, Mosby.
  2. Weatherby Dicken, Ferguson Scott (2002) Blood Chemistry and CBC Analysis: Clinical Laboratory Testing from a Functional Perspective, Bear Mountain.