Rheumatoid Factor (RF) Test

What is a Rheumatoid Factor (RF) Test?

The Rheumatoid Factor (RF) test is a blood test to detect antibodies commonly found in individuals with rheumatoid arthritis and certain other autoimmune diseases. It is used to help diagnose and monitor treatment of rheumatoid arthritis and other conditions. RF may also be referred to as rheumatoid body or rheumatoid factor antibody.

Preparation for an RF Test

No special preparation is required for an RF test. Speak with your doctor to determine if the test is necessary and what fasting or other preparation the doctor would like you to do prior to the test.

Procedure for the Test

The RF test is a blood test that is performed by drawing a sample of your blood. The sample is then sent to a lab where it is tested for the presence of antibodies. Your results will be returned to your doctor who will use them to help diagnose or monitor treatment of conditions.

Types of RF Tests

There are two main types of RF tests:

  • A quantitative RF test measures the concentration of antibody present in the sample.
  • A qualitative RF test checks for the presence of the antibody without measuring the amount present in the sample.

Risks of an RF Test

A RF test carries very minimal risk. The risks associated with this test are related to the blood-draw procedure. Bruising, numbness, or feeling faint can occur after the blood is drawn. Speak with your doctor if you have any concerns about the risks of the test.

Why an RF Test is Done

An RF test is used to help diagnose rheumatoid arthritis and other autoimmune conditions. It can also be used to monitor the progression of the disease and its treatment. It is important to discuss the reasons for getting an RF test with your doctor.

When to Get an RF Test

An RF test is typically recommended if you are experiencing symptoms that are common with rheumatoid arthritis or other autoimmune conditions. Your doctor might also order the test if you have a family history of such conditions. It is important to speak with your doctor to determine if an RF test is necessary.