Medicine

Guidelines for Immunologic Laboratory Testing in the Rheumatic Diseases: An Introduction

Guidelines for Immunologic Laboratory Testing in the Rheumatic Diseases: An Introduction

Guidelines for Immunologic Laboratory Testing in the Rheumatic Diseases: An Introduction

Introduction

Immunologic laboratory tests serve a critical role in the care of patients with rheumatic diseases. Historically, such tests have helped define the immunopathophysiologic basis of various rheumatic conditions, and have allowed more precise classification of distinct diseases with similar clinical features. The results of immunologic laboratory tests have become a key part of the diagnosis for several diseases. These tests may also provide relevant information concerning disease activity, end-organ involvement, and prognosis. Repeated measurement of certain tests has become a means to monitor disease activity and response to treatment.

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