Antibodies normal functionis to selectively attack external contaminants, staying inactive in all other non-pathological elements, as well as in the elements of the organism itself.
In autoimmune diseases, this selectivity is lost, resulting in attack on the body itself and its organs.
They are chronic diseases, with hereditary predisposition, and have varying expression and severity. There are 80-100 different types, and many times they are combined in many ways.
Multiple tests are often required for diagnosis and follow up.
BASIC APPEARANCES – INDICATIONS – IMPORTANCE
Autoantibodies are usually present in people with a family history of autoimmune deasease. They appear after an infection or after a long-term contact with toxic chemicals or prolonged – intense stress.
Their appearance may be organoleptic (eg thyroid), but even systematic in all organs.
The most common are:
- Antiphospholipid syndrome
- Autoimmune hepatitis
- Type I diabetes
- Rheumatoid arthritis
- Systemic lupus erythematosus
- Hashimoto thyroiditis
In general, autoimmune diseases may cause
- Fatigue, inability to concentrate – vision, food intolerances, weight disorders
- Pain in joints – muscles – gastrointestinal, local or generalized
- Skin pigmentation – inflammation, nausea, scalp, fever
- Flushed pregnancies, infertility
- High levels of inflammation markers, sugar, abnormal urine findings
Early correct diagnosis and treatment of autoimmune, prevents their degenerative effects, and the possible occurrence of additional diseases.
A. Systemically autoimmune diseases (affecting the whole body):
Autoimmune have similar symptoms to each other, and they often appear in a combination of many different at the same time. The main tests used to detect and monitor are:
- CBC, ESR, C-reactive protein (CRP): Detects any inflammatory reaction that may have resulted from systemic autoimmune disease and the balance of the hemodynamic-immune system.
- Elements of complement C3, C4: Detection of long-term immune depletion, caused by chronic activated autoimmune diseases.
- Uric acid (UA), transaminases (ALT / AST), CK, LDH: Detects potential damage on ligaments, liver, and muscles, and hematopoietic system.
- Urine test : Detects a possible kidney degredation – function, mainly with protein – album screening.
- Rheumatoid factor (RF) and anti-CCP: Used in the detection of rheumatoid arthritis and Sjögren’s syndrome.
- Antinuclear antibodies (ANA) and ANA profile: Used for detection of systemic lupus erythematosus, polymyositis, etc.
- Anticardiolipin (aCL IgG, aCL IgA, IgM aCL ): Diagnostic tests for phospholipid syndrome (proposed particularlyin venous or arterial thromboses – repeated miscarriages).
B. Organo-specific autoimmune diseases
Specialized tests are performed to detect the corresponding disease. The most common, are:
- Peroxidase (anti-TPO), anti-Tg, TSH (TRAb) receptor autoantibodies : Detection and monitoring of Hashomoto / Graves autoimmune thyroiditis.
- Antibodies to smooth muscle fiber (ASMA): Differential diagnosis of chronic active autoimmune hepatitis.
- Anti-mitochondrial antibodies (AMA): Used to diagnose primary biliary cirrhosis.
They are used on a case-by-case basis, based on evidence, personal and family history
More common due to simplicity and security in terms of technique, are ultrasound imaging tests:
- Thyroid ultrasound imaging
- Upper and lower abdomen (liver – kidney – spleen) Ultrasound imaging
Information selected with sources:
- Interpretation of Diagnostic Tests – J.Wallach
The exact choice of tets is the responsibility of your treating physician
Editor: John Gratis Lab Director / Clinical Biochemist
Last updated May 2019
Your examinations with analytical systems and reagents
top quality SIEMENS-USA BECMAN COULTER-USA
Laboratory testing requires simple blood sampling.
No preparation or diet is required, and the blood can be taken at any time of the day
Blood sampling can take place at any time of the day (laboratory hours from 7.30 am to 7.30 pm).
- Results are given within 2 days
- For faster delivery, we suggest sending the results by email
- Basic Autoimmune panel (CBC, ESR, CRP, C3, C4, uric acid, transaminases ALT/AST, CK, LDH, Urine test, RF, ANA) 75.75 euros (initial 101 euros ).
- ANA profile 80 euros.