• Autoimmune Testing for Primary Care Referrals Webinar Recap

    Information provided by Quest Diagnostics

    Cropped shot of an unrecognizable man sitting alone on his sofa at home and suffering from arthritis in his hand

    Autoimmune diseases are conditions in which the immune system attacks the joints and certain systems. To treat an autoimmune disease properly, it is vital to diagnose it correctly. That is no small challenge. More than 80 different autoimmune diseases have been identified, and their symptoms can be vague and vary from patient to patient. Many of them share similar or overlapping symptoms.

    The problem of autoimmune disease is widespread and becoming more prevalent. Autoimmune diseases:

    • Affect an estimated 23.5 million Americans, many of them undiagnosed1
    • Disproportionately affect women, who constitute approximately 78% of those affected by autoimmune diseases and bear more of the burden of the high morbidity associated with these chronic conditions
    • Can affect men and all age groups, including children and seniors

    In May, Quest Diagnostics hosted “Autoimmune Testing Essentials in Primary Care to Guide Rheumatology Referrals,” a webinar that discusses testing for autoimmune diseases to help you evaluate your patients’ symptoms, reach a confident diagnosis, and, when appropriate, make a suitable referral.

    Presented by Ara Dikranian, MD, a rheumatologist at the Cabrillo Center for Rheumatic Disease, San Diego, CA, this webinar reviews autoimmune disease epidemiology and the role of antinuclear antibody (ANA) and autoantibody cascade testing to assist in the diagnosis or qualified rheumatology referral of patients with symptoms suggestive of autoimmune disease. Dr. Dikranian discusses salient studies in the current body of evidence for biomarkers that assist in diagnosis of early rheumatoid arthritis (RA) and monitoring of disease activity. The webinar also includes a review of case studies that highlight guideline-driven testing for more prevalent autoimmune diseases, such as RA and systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE). Informal discussions ensue during a lively Q&A, moderated by Ann Salm, Director, Medical Science Liaison, Infectious Disease & Immunology, Medical Affairs, Quest Diagnostics. Check out this engaging and enlightening session on optimizing autoimmune testing and rheumatology referrals in primary care sponsored by Quest Diagnostics, which is now available on demand. 


    1. Desai MK, Brinton RD. Autoimmune disease in women: endocrine transition and risk across the lifespan. Front Endocrinol (Lausanne). 2019;10:265. Reviewed April 9, 2021. Accessed April 9, 2021. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6501433/


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