Diagnostic testing and interpretation of tests for autoimmunity

J Allergy Clin Immunol. 2010 Feb;125(2 Suppl 2):S238-47. doi: 10.1016/j.jaci.2009.09.041. Epub 2010 Jan 12.


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 for following disease activity. Components of the laboratory examination include a complete blood count with differential, a comprehensive metabolic panel, measurement of inflammatory markers and autoantibodies, and flow cytometry. This chapter discusses these components and includes a discussion about organ-specific immunologic diseases for which immunologic laboratory testing is used. 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.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Autoantibodies / immunology
  • Autoantibodies / metabolism*
  • Autoimmune Diseases / diagnosis*
  • Autoimmune Diseases / immunology
  • Autoimmune Diseases / physiopathology
  • Autoimmunity
  • Biomarkers / metabolism*
  • Cell Separation
  • Disease Progression
  • Flow Cytometry
  • Humans
  • Immunologic Tests / methods*
  • Organ Specificity
  • Prognosis


  • Autoantibodies
  • Biomarkers