Which conditions may exhibit positive rheumatoid factors (RFs)?

Updated: Jan 28, 2021
  • Author: Tyler Street, MD; Chief Editor: Eric B Staros, MD  more...
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Answer

Answer

RF is also present with other connective-tissue diseases, autoimmune disorders, and proinflammatory states. For example, RF is found in 52% and 98% of individuals with primary or secondary Sjögren syndrome (an autoimmune disease), respectively, existing even in the absence of RA. Moreover, it has been reported that low-titer RF positivity can occur in the inflammatory disease sarcoidosis, while abnormally high RF levels can exist in the presence of leukemia, multiple myeloma, and other cancers. [10, 11]  RF is also observed in 1-5% of healthy individuals. Thus, RF is not considered specific for RA.

RF results may also be positive in patients without RA who have the following conditions:

Systemic lupus erythematosus

Polymyositis

Tuberculosis

Syphilis

Viral hepatitis

Infectious mononucleosis

Influenza


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