RHEUMATOID FACTOR

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Test Name
Rheumatoid Factor
Test Units
IU/ml
Normal Range
< 15
Sample required
 2 ml serum
 
INTRODUCTION
 

RF is basically auto antibodies against the Fc fragment of immunoglobulin G and is produced by inflammatory cells (neutrophils) in the joints of 80% of patients with rheumatoid arthritis. RF may result in the formation of immune complexes that activate the complement cascade and release leukocytic enzymes from neutrophils, causing tissue injury.

 
CLINICAL SIGNIFICANCE
 
RF forms part of the diagnostic and prognostic marker profile of rheumatoid arthritis (RA). RA is systemic autoimmune disorder that is responsible for chronic symmetric arthritis of peripheral joints commonly seen in adults. Progressive increase in values of RF in first 2 years indicates the more severe course. RF titers are often associated with difficult clinical course and generalized disease. Values may decrease during remission but rarely becomes negative. Results from RF determinations should, however, always be evaluated in conjunction with clinical and other lab findings because low RF levels do not necessarily demonstrate the absence of rheumatoid arthritis and high RF concentrations are not limited to only rheumatic disease; additional investigations regarding existence of disease may be required.
 
 Elevated levels are found in:
 
  • Rheumatoid arthritis
  • Infections (bronchitis, kala azar, leprosy, subacute bacterial endocarditis, syphilis, tuberculosis, viral infections)
  • Liver disease (biliary obstruction, cirrhosis, fatty liver, granulomas, neoplasms, viral hepatitis)
  • Diabetes mellitus
 
 
  • Idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis
  • Osteoarthritis
  • Paraproteinemia
  • Raynaud's disease
  • Sarcoidosis
  • Sjogren's syndrome
  • Leukemia
  • Systematic lupus erythematosus (SLE)
 
  RHEUMATOID FACTOR  
 
T echnology Used NEPHELOMETRY
 
  ADDITIONAL INFORMATION  
 
  RF quantitative assays, where exact value is obtained, are far advanced than the titers obtained by agglutination method. The false positive and false negative results percentage is reduced from 10-12% to almost zero.  
 
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