Testing and Interpretation of Tests for Autoimmunity
Here is a link to an excellent NIH article detailing the various diagnostic testing and interpretation of tests for Autoimmunity. It is a long article so I cannot copy and paste the entire article. I will copy and paste the first 3 paragraphs and then people can go to the link and read it for themselves. It is detailed and informative and covers all of the testing for Autoimmune disorders:
Diagnostic Testing and Interpretation of Tests for Autoimmunity
"Laboratory testing is of great value when evaluating a patient with a suspected autoimmune disease. The results can confirm a diagnosis, estimate disease severity, aid in assessing prognosis and are useful to follow disease activity. Components of the laboratory exam include complete blood count with differential, comprehensive metabolic panel, inflammatory markers, autoantibodies, and flow cytometry. This chapter discusses these components and includes a discussion about organ-specific immunologic diseases where immunological laboratory testing is employed. Comprehensive laboratory evaluation of a suspected autoimmune illness in conjunction with a thorough clinical evaluation provides a better understanding of a patient's immunologic disease."
"Autoimmunity involves the loss of normal immune homeostasis such that the organism produces an abnormal response to its own self tissue. The hallmark of autoimmune diseases generally involves the presence of self-reactive T cells, autoantibodies and inflammation. An area of intense research is determining why the immune system turns against its host. Over the past decade, research has greatly advanced our understanding of autoimmunity and the scientific findings from these investigations are translating new clinical laboratory studies of patients to aid in diagnoses.
Examining patients for potential autoimmune diseases is fraught with difficulty because not one laboratory test establishes such a diagnosis. Typically, multiple laboratory tests are needed and include basic studies like a complete blood count, comprehensive metabolic panel, acute phase reactants, immunologic studies, serologies, flow cytometry, cytokine analysis, and HLA typing. Although some tests may be non-specific, such as the erythrocyte sedimentation rate (ESR), they are useful to assess disease activity. These tests can be useful in the diagnosis and management of patients with autoimmune diseases and help in providing a prognosis, or indicate the severity of organ involvement or damage. .................."
The rest of the article details the tests, listing and discussing each one. I find it to be extremely informative.
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