What Is Zero Negative Rheumatoid Arthritis?

Updated April 17, 2017

Sero-negative rheumatoid arthritis is the diagnosis given to a person whose blood work does not account for his arthritis-like symptoms. He experiences similar discomfort, but lacks the antibody, or "rheumatoid factor," traditionally present in those diagnosed with the disease.

Rheumatoid Factor

Eighty per cent of adults with RA test positive for the rheumatoid factor. The presence of RF does not conclusively diagnose a person. Her symptoms and medical history must be taken into consideration as well. X-rays may be used to see if the joint inflammation occurs on both sides of the body, an important deciding factor in the diagnosis of RA.


The disease is often mislabelled as "zero-negative," but the proper term is "sero-negative," meaning the rheumatoid factor is not present in the body's serum.

Rheumatoid Arthritis

Rheumatoid arthritis is an autoimmune disease with an undetermined cause, in which the body attacks its own cells and tissues. Movement can be restricted, and is usually very painful due to periodic inflammation of the joints.


There is no known cure for RA, but corticosteroids, NSAIDS, massage therapy and yoga can help improve the quality of daily life.

Famous Ties

Kathleen Turner and Lucille Ball both suffered from RA.

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About the Author

Based in New Jersey, Wendy Travolta has been working as a professional freelance writer since October 2009. Her areas of expertise include holistic health and wellness, natural beauty and fashion.