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ELEVATED RHEUMATOID FACTOR
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ELEVATED RHEUMATOID FACTOR

I was wondering if i had an elevated rheumatoid factor does this always mean, RA? I have only a couple symptoms of RA. my main symptoms are numbness in both arm, no tingling, i am dropping things, sometimes it feels like spiders crawling on my face, my hands burn like I have a cut on my finger/hand and someone is pouring salt on them.I can't get out of my own way i am so tired all of the time. my left leg goes numb and it has been so weak at time i have falling down.I am usually going to the bathroom at least once every hour and it is a full bladder, had a urologist already looked into issues with that and they said it was due to having 4 kids. I have muscle fatigue I was told. I have no reflexes in my elbows, knees or my left ankle. they can't do a full eval on my right leg as i have Neurofibromatosis 1 and I have tumors in my right foot.(No one touches my right leg below the knee, unless I am under some pretty heavy sedation) I can't have an MRI I have a spinal nerve stimulator for pain
My hands/fingers are not deformed in any way no family history of RA, no skin rashes. no fever,however my BP is usually 84/49 and I am always cold.
I honestly think I have MS as I was told it can go hand and hand with NF. I just want some answers so I can try to function. I was misdiagnosed with the NF for 16 years and I don't really want to be misdiagnosed again, i know I can't be diagnosed over the internet, but just want to know where I am headed.
i was told by one doctor i could wither have a brain tumor or MS, I know it isn't a tumor, i don't have headaches or anything like that or blurred vision.
Thank you for your time
Micehlle
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Avatar_dr_m_tn
When RA is clinically suspected,testing for the presence of rheumatoid factor (RF, a specific antibody). A negative RF does not rule out RA; rather, the arthritis is called seronegative.
RF is also seen in other illnesses, for example Sjögren's syndrome, and in approximately 10% of the healthy population, therefore the test is not very specific.

Because of this low specificity, a new serological test has been developed, which tests for the presence of so called anti-citrullinated protein antibodies (ACPAs). Like RF, this test is positive in only a proportion (67%) of all RA cases, but is rarely positive if RA is not present, giving it a specificity of around 95%.
As with RF, there is evidence for ACPAs being present in many cases even before onset of clinical disease.Currently, the most common test for ACPAs is the anti-CCP (cyclic citrullinated peptide) test.

Also, several other blood tests are usually done to allow for other causes of arthritis, such as lupus erythematosus. The erythrocyte sedimentation rate (ESR), C-reactive protein, full blood count, renal function, liver enzymes and other immunological tests (e.g. antinuclear antibody/ANA) are all performed at this stage. Elevated ferritin levels can reveal hemochromatosis, a mimic RA, or be a sign of Still's disease, a seronegative, usually juvenile, variant of rheumatoid.

Diagnostic criteria
The American College of Rheumatology has defined (1987) the following criteria for the classification of rheumatoid arthritis:

Morning stiffness of >1 hour most mornings for at least 6 weeks.
Arthritis and soft-tissue swelling of >3 of 14 joints/joint groups, present for at least 6 weeks
Arthritis of hand joints, present for at least 6 weeks
Symmetric arthritis, present for at least 6 weeks
Subcutaneous nodules in specific places
Rheumatoid factor at a level above the 95th percentile
Radiological changes suggestive of joint erosion
At least four criteria have to be met for classification as RA.

I think you have some fair idea about RA diagnosis and also about RF.Take care and come back to us with further queries.
2 Comments
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306245_tn?1244388567
sorry I forgot to say when looking up the symptoms, I have no nodules, morning stiffness, or there doesn't appear to be any swelling.
i also had the same RF test done two weeks prior at a different hospital and the doctors said that this was a sensitive test and wanted to repeat it. the first time I had no infection the 2nd time I have an infected ingrown toe nail, that I had only been on antibiotics for 2 days before having the tests, could this ahve affected the results any?
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