Causes of a positive Rheumatoid factor

What are the causes of a positive Rheumatoid factor?

The common denominator for the production of RF is chronic immune stimulation. The most common diseases associated with RF production are: CHRONIC, as the mnemonic indicates:

CH Chronic disease, especially hepatic (primary biliary cholangitis [45%–70%]) and pulmonary diseases (idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis [10%–50%], silicosis [30%–50%], asbestosis [30%])

R Rheumatoid arthritis, 70%–85% patients

O Other rheumatic diseases, such as SLE (15%–35%), systemic sclerosis (20%–30%), MCTD (50%–60%), Sjögren’s syndrome (75%–95%), polymyositis (5%–10%), and sarcoidosis (15%)

N Neoplasms, especially after radiation or chemotherapy (5%–25%)

I Infections, such as AIDS, mononucleosis, parasitic infections (20%–90%), chronic viral infections (15%–65%), hepatitis B/C (20%–75%), chronic bacterial infections (subacute bacterial endocarditis [25%–50%], syphilis [5%–13%], and others), mycobacterial infections (tuberculosis [8%], leprosy [5%–58%])

C Cryoglobulinemia, 40%–100% of patients especially with hepatitis C


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