Common Autoimmune Diseases

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The page below is a sample from the LabCE course Autoimmune Diseases and Antinuclear Antibody Testing: Methods and Staining Patterns. Access the complete course and earn ASCLS P.A.C.E.-approved continuing education credits by subscribing online.

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Common Autoimmune Diseases

The table describes some of the more common autoimmune diseases:
Autoimmune DiseaseDescription
Rheumatoid arthritis (RA)Inflammation of joints and surrounding tissues caused by autoantibodies and immune complex deposition
Systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE)A systemic disorder that affects skin, joints, kidneys, brain, and other organs
Celiac sprue diseaseReaction to gluten (found in wheat, rye, and barley) that causes damage to the lining of the small intestine
Pernicious anemia (PA)Decrease in red blood cells due to inability to absorb vitamin B-12 which is caused by autoantibodies to intrinsic factor and intrinsic factor-secreting gastric parietal cells.
Vitiligo White patches on skin caused by loss of pigment
SclerodermaConnective tissue disease that causes changes in skin, blood vessels, muscles, and internal organs
PsoriasisSkin condition that causes redness and irritation, as well as thick, flaky, silver-white patches
Inflammatory bowel diseases (IBD)Group of inflammatory diseases of the colon and small intestine
Hashimoto's diseaseInflammation of the thyroid gland leading to hypothyroidism
Addison's diseaseAdrenal hormone insufficiency
Graves' diseaseOveractive thyroid gland triggered by autoantibodies
Reactive arthritisInflammation of the joints, urethra, and eyes; may cause lesion on the skin and mucous membranes
Sjögren's syndrome (SjS)Destroys glands that produce tears and saliva causing dry eyes/mouth; may affect kidneys and lungs
Type 1 diabetesDestruction of insulin producing cells in the pancreas