Immunity is our protective force whencontact with various infections. But today, cases where immunity becomes not an "ally" but an "enemy" are not uncommon. So-called autoimmune diseases are caused by our own immune system, in which the failure occurred. One such disease is rheumatoid arthritis
The most significant diagnostic test is the determination of rheumatoid factor.
What it is?
Rheumatoid factor is represented by antibodies toown antibodies of the human body. However, it should be noted that this indicator indicates not only the presence of rheumatoid arthritis, but it can also testify about Sjögren's syndrome, dermatomyositis, scleroderma and SLE. In addition, with some blood diseases, rheumatoid factor can also be detected. Often this indicator is also determined for infectious diseases: tuberculosis, syphilis, endocarditis, hepatitis, infectious mononucleosis, malaria.
To help doctors - quantitative determinationthis indicator, because its value for rheumatoid arthritis is several times higher. Competent specialists know that on the basis of this diagnostic method alone it is practically impossible to diagnose, and when you take into account the results, first of all pay attention to the clinical picture. However, in this case, additional diagnostic tests may be necessary to confirm the correctness of the diagnosis.
When is the diagnostic procedure performed?
Analysis for rheumatoid factor appoint:
- in the presence of confirmed (to establish the activity of the process) or the need for a primary diagnosis of "rheumatoid arthritis";
- with other autoimmune diseases;
- in the presence of chronic inflammatory processes in the human body.
In healthy people, rheumatoidfactor, the norm of which is not more than 10 U / ml. Exceeding this value may indicate the possibility of the patient developing the disease in the near future.
At the same time, this analysis can not be calledreliable and diagnostically significant, as the rheumatoid factor is increased, it can be in the absence of any pathological changes, and vice versa - often, with a confirmed diagnosis and the presence of rheumatoid arthritis, the indicator can remain within the norm and not change.
To determine the rheumatoid factorblood sampling in the morning on an empty stomach. The serum of blood is dripped into the cells of the test kit (the latter is a different antibody, fixed on the particles of latex). In the presence of agglutination (gluing of particles), they speak of a positive reaction. Depending on the serum of which dilution the reaction of antibodies occurs, the level of rheumatoid factor in the blood is also counted.
Today, the rheumatoid factor is not determinedonly for the purpose of diagnosing arthritis of autoimmune genesis, but also for detecting other disorders from the immune system. When determining the increased value of rheumatoid factor, doctors recommend starting to carry out primary prevention of the disease (rejection of bad habits, reducing the load on the immune system, protection from hypothermia).
Thus, the rheumatoid factor is usedtoday not only to determine rheumatoid arthritis, but also other autoimmune and infectious diseases. It is impossible to talk about the high reliability of the diagnostic method, however, often the data obtained with it help to determine the diagnosis. The latter ensures the speediest appointment of the most effective treatment regimen. This approach to the diagnosis, prevention and treatment of autoimmune disorders allows at the initial stages of the disease to stop the pathological process.