Rheumatoid Factor Test


Image Caption: Rheumatoid Factor Test for Rheumatoid Arthritis : The rheumatoid factor test detects the presence of a protein called rheumatoid factor (RF), an antibody of the type known as immunoglobulin M (IgM), which is produced by the immune system. About 75% of patients with rheumatoid arthritis (RA) test positive for rheumatoid factor (RF). Those who test positive for multiple RA biomarkers often develop more severe RA. Rheumatoid arthritis (RA) is an autoimmune disease that causes inflammation, pain, stiffness, and deterioration of the joints, especially in hands and wrists, but also in shoulders, neck, hips, knees, and feet. Other symptoms can include fever, fatigue, weight loss, and development of nodules under the skin. RA most commonly develops in women between ages 30-50. There is no cure, though early diagnosis and treatment can often slow disease progression.

Rheumatoid Factor (RF) Test

The test detects the presence of a protein called rheumatoid factor (RF), an antibody of the type known as immunoglobulin M (IgM), which is produced by the immune system. (There are five classes of immunoglobulins produced by the immune system; the job of these antibodies is to identify 'foreign' cells or substances, but sometimes the antibodies make mistakes and instead attack the body's own tissues.) In addition to RF, other antibodies, such as cyclic citrullinated peptide (CCP), are also used to diagnose RA.

Why Test for Rheumatoid Factor (RF) Test?

The test detects the presence of a protein called rheumatoid factor (RF), an antibody of the type known as immunoglobulin M (IgM), which is produced by the immune system. (There are five classes of immunoglobulins produced by the immune system; the job of these antibodies is to identify 'foreign' cells or substances, but sometimes the antibodies make mistakes and instead attack the body's own tissues.) In addition to RF, other antibodies, such as cyclic citrullinated peptide (CCP), are also used to diagnose RA.

Demographic

While the exact cause of Rheumatoid Arthritis, RA is unknown (many cases may be a result from an interaction between genetic factors and environmental exposures) several aspects about the disease are known, such as that one who tests for Rheumatoid factor often develops more severe RA. Also, it is known that RA is typically two to three times higher in women than men; the onset of RA, in both women and men, is highest among those in their sixties; and a history of smoking is associated with a modest to moderate increased risk of RA onset.

Rheumatoid Factor

Antibodies found in adult RHEUMATOID ARTHRITIS patients that are directed against GAMMA-CHAIN IMMUNOGLOBULINS.

National Center for Biotechnology Information, U.S. National Library of Medicine

Rheumatoid Arthritis

Also called: RA

Rheumatoid arthritis (RA) is a form of arthritis that causes pain, swelling, stiffness and loss of function in your joints. It can affect any joint but is common in the wrist and fingers.

More women than men get rheumatoid arthritis. It often starts in middle age and is most common in older people. But children and young adults can also get it. You might have the disease for only a short time, or symptoms might come and go. The severe form can last a lifetime.

Rheumatoid arthritis is different from osteoarthritis, the common arthritis that often comes with older age. RA can affect body parts besides joints, such as your eyes, mouth and lungs. RA is an autoimmune disease, which means the arthritis results from your immune system attacking your body's own tissues.

No one knows what causes rheumatoid arthritis. Genes, environment and hormones might contribute. Treatments include medicine, lifestyle changes and surgery. These can slow or stop joint damage and reduce pain and swelling.

Picture of a Normal Joint and a Joint affected by Rheumatoid ArthritisA joint (the place where two bones meet) is surrounded by a capsule that protects and supports it. The joint capsule is lined with a type of tissue called synovium, which produces synovial fluid that lubricates and nourishes joint tissues. In rheumatoid arthritis, the synovium becomes inflamed, causing warmth, redness, swelling, and pain. As the disease progresses, the inflamed synovium invades and damages the cartilage and bone of the joint. Surrounding muscles, ligaments, and tendons become weakened. Rheumatoid arthritis also can cause more generalized bone loss that may lead to osteoporosis (fragile bones that are prone to fracture).

NIH: National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases

Rheumatoid arthritis

Autoimmune diseases, including rheumatoid arthritis, scleroderma, or systemic lupus erythematosus, produce arthritis because the immune system of the body attacks the body joints. In rheumatoid arthritis, the joint capsule and synovial membrane become inflamed. As the disease progresses, the articular cartilage is severely damaged or destroyed, resulting in joint deformation, loss of movement, and severe disability. The most commonly involved joints are the hands, feet, and cervical spine, with corresponding joints on both sides of the body usually affected, though not always to the same extent. Rheumatoid arthritis is also associated with lung fibrosis, vasculitis (inflammation of blood vessels), coronary heart disease, and premature mortality. With no known cure, treatments are aimed at alleviating symptoms. Exercise, anti-inflammatory and pain medications, various specific disease-modifying anti-rheumatic drugs, or surgery are used to treat rheumatoid arthritis.

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