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Autoimmune Diagnostics

Diagnostics of autoimmune diseases

In principle, autoimmune diseases can affect every organ in the human body, including the central nervous system and the heart. Correspondingly, the symptoms of these diseases vary greatly depending on which organs or structures in the body are attacked by the immune system, and on how far the disease has progressed. Common to all autoimmune diseases is the fatal malfunctioning of the immune system, which can no longer differentiate between a pathogenic invader and the tissues of its own body. The body becomes its own enemy.

The table overviews the most common autoimmune diseases that may either be systemic, attacking several organ systems simultaneously (left column), or affect single organs or organ systems (right column):

Tab.1
Systemic and localised autoimmune diseases
Systemic autoimmune diseases Localised autoimmune diseases
rheumatoid arthritis (joints; rarely lungs, skin) diabetes type I (islet cells of the pancreas)
systemic lupus erythematosus (skin, joints, kidney, heart, brain, red blood cells, …) Hashimoto's thyroiditis, Graves' disease (thyroid gland)
scleroderma (skin, intestine, rarely lungs)celiac disease, Crohn's disease, ulcerative colitis (gastrointestinal tract)
Sjögren's syndrome (salivary glands, lacrimal gland, joints)multiple sclerosis, Guillian Barré's syndrome (central nervous system)
Goodpasture's syndrome (lungs, kidneys) Addison's disease (adrenal glands)
Wegner's disease (paranasal sinus, lungs, kidneys)primary biliary cirrhosis, sclerosing cholangitis, autoimmune hepatitis (liver)
polymyalgia rheumatica (large muscle groups)Raynaud phenomenon (fingers, toes, nose ears)
temporal arteritis/giant cell arteritis (arteries of head and neck)
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