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Rheumatoid factor; quantitative

CPT4 code

Name of the Procedure:

Rheumatoid factor; quantitative
Common names: RF test, Rheumatoid factor antibody test


The Rheumatoid factor quantitative test measures the amount of rheumatoid factor in the blood. Rheumatoid factor is an antibody that can be elevated in various autoimmune conditions, notably rheumatoid arthritis.


The test primarily addresses autoimmune conditions, especially rheumatoid arthritis.

  • Goals: Identify the presence and quantify the level of rheumatoid factor to help diagnose autoimmune diseases and guide treatment plans.


  • Unexplained joint pain, swelling, and stiffness
  • Symmetrical arthritis affecting multiple joints
  • Persistent fatigue and weakness
  • Criteria: Typically ordered when patients exhibit symptoms consistent with autoimmune disorders, especially rheumatoid arthritis.


  • No special fasting or medication adjustments are usually required.
  • Inform your healthcare provider about any medications or supplements you are taking.
  • A simple blood test, so minimal preparation is needed.

Procedure Description

  1. A healthcare professional will clean a small area on your arm with an antiseptic.
  2. A tourniquet is applied to the upper arm to fill the veins with blood.
  3. A sterile needle is inserted into a vein to draw blood into a vial.
  4. The sample is labeled and sent to a laboratory for analysis.
    • Tools: Sterile needle, tourniquet, vial, antiseptic swab.
    • Anesthesia: None required.


The blood draw typically takes about 5-10 minutes.


Performed in a hospital, outpatient clinic, or medical laboratory.


  • Phlebotomist or nurse to draw the blood.
  • Laboratory technologist to analyze the blood sample.
  • The ordering physician for interpreting results.

Risks and Complications

  • Common risks: Mild pain or bruising at the puncture site.
  • Rare risks: Infection, excessive bleeding, fainting.


  • Early detection and diagnosis of autoimmune conditions.
  • Aids in determining the appropriate treatment plan. Benefits can be realized once a diagnosis is confirmed and treatment initiated.


  • No significant recovery period needed.
  • Minor soreness or bruising at the puncture site may occur and can be managed with over-the-counter pain medication.
  • No restrictions; normal activities can be resumed immediately.


  • Anti-CCP antibody test: More specific for rheumatoid arthritis.
  • Erythrocyte sedimentation rate (ESR) and C-reactive protein (CRP): Indicate inflammation but are not specific for rheumatoid arthritis.
  • Pros and cons: RF is a routine and common test, whereas other tests may offer more specificity.

Patient Experience

  • Mild discomfort during the blood draw.
  • Minimal pain or bruising post-procedure.
  • Comfort measures: Applying ice to the puncture site if bruising occurs, and keeping the area clean to avoid infection.

Medical Policies and Guidelines for Rheumatoid factor; quantitative

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