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Rf factor question

So ive been to ,y rheumatologist a few times so far still with no true diagnoses... i have not been able to get the anti ccp test to this date whoch is whats actually stalling the disgnoses. I was wonderkmg if anyone knows if one can have a positive rf with joimt and muscle pain and not actually have ra?

  1. Hi tomdiggitty! First off, my apologies for the delay in replying to your question! This would be a great question to ask your physician. You can also seek a second opinion if you feel as though your doctor is not a good fit for you. Please understand that I am not a physician. All I can tell you is that I have never heard of anyone on this site having elevated RF without having RA. That does not mean it may not occur, but that's all I know.

    I do hope you can get some answer and a diagnosis very soon!

    Best, Erin, Team Member.

    1. Hi tomdiggity. As Erin said, this is a great question for your doctor. The RF antibody can occur with conditions other than RA, such as infections. This is why the anti-CCP is the preferred test. Note that most patients with the anti-CCp antibodies will also be positive for rheumatoid factor. Only a doctor can clarify this for you. Wishing you the best. Richard ( Team)

      1. I've had my RA seroneg dx for years. I checked back and my anti-CCP was not in the positive range-it registered but didn't wow anyone. There isn't a joint that hasn't been affected by stiffness, pain and swelling.
        My LTD claim has just been terminated. The carrier believes I should be able to do sedentary work. They state the objective med records don't match my subjective physical complaints. I've never been able to get in to see the rhuematologist during the days of a flare so have not had a high ESR level documented. I manage flare days myself with prednisone all the while taking the scheduled dmard and TNF blocker.
        So bottom line is I am doubting myself, my symptoms and diagnosis. Damn the insurance company!!

        1. Hi qejm0g. Know that you are not alone in struggling to figure out what exactly a seronegative diagnosis means and even ending up questioning yourself and the diagnosis. Our contributor Monica wrote about her experience with these questions here:

          The main thing is to know what you are feeling be willing to advocate on behalf of yourself. It is estimated that about 30% of those with RA are seronegative. There is a reason the diagnostic process is supposed to entail a lot more than the blood tests (see

          My wife, Kelly Mack (a contributor here), was diagnosed at two years old with a very aggressive case of juvenile RA, has had RA for 40 years, and used a wheelchair since her late teens. At the time of the diagnosis they didn't even do rheumatoid factor testing. Last year, just out of curiosity, her rheumatologist ran an RF test and it came back negative. Blood tests truly don't tell the entire story. Wishing you the best. Richard ( Team)

        2. thanks for replying-good to know I'm not alone. This has been a very dark, dark week for me.

      2. So, first of all talk to your rheumatologist. They often have good suggestions about what to do and how to do it. Then, remember that appeals are your friend. Look at it this way ,the fight has just started and it will not be over for some times.

        I wish you the very best of good fortune.

        rick - moderator.

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