Rheumatoid factor blood test

A blood test to help diagnose rheumatoid arthritis

A rheumatoid factor blood test measures rheumatoid factor levels in your blood

What are rheumatoid factors?

Rheumatoid factors are proteins made in your body's immune system. High amounts of rheumatoid factor can be sign of rheumatoid arthritis, Sjogren's syndrome or another autoimmune condition.

At HCA Healthcare UK, we can carry out a rheumatoid factor alongside other tests to make a diagnosis.

Need to know

  • What happens during the blood test? icon plus

    A rheumatoid factor test involves using a needle to take a small sample of blood from your arm. It's normally carried out by a phlebotomist and takes a few minutes. After the test, your sample will be sent to a laboratory for testing.

    If your HCA UK GP or consultant is looking to find out if you have rheumatoid arthritis, they may also recommend other tests for anti-nuclear antibodies (ANA), anti-cyclic citrullinated peptide (anti-CCP) antibodies, c-reactive proteins (CRP) and erythrocyte sedimentation rate (ESR or sed rate).
  • How to prepare icon plus

    There isn't any special preparation required for a rheumatoid factor test. It normally takes a few minutes and you should be able to home straight away.
  • After your blood test icon plus

    Your HCA UK GP or consultant rheumatologist will explain your blood test results during a post-test appointment. This appointment will usually take place seven to 14 days after your blood test.

    A positive rheumatoid factor test result is usually a sign of high levels of rheumatoid factors in your blood. This is normally a sign of rheumatoid arthritis or another autoimmune disease. However, your GP or consultant may recommend further tests to confirm a diagnosis.

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This content is intended for general information only and does not replace the need for personal advice from a qualified health professional.
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