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01.08.2013 | Review Article | Ausgabe 2/2013

Autoimmunity Highlights 2/2013

Detection of autoantibodies in a point-of-care rheumatology setting

Zeitschrift:
Autoimmunity Highlights > Ausgabe 2/2013
Autoren:
Konstantin N. Konstantinov, Antonios Tzamaloukas, Robert L. Rubin

Abstract

Autoimmune rheumatic diseases are common and confront society with serious medical, social, and financial burdens imposed by their debilitating nature. Many autoimmune diseases are associated with a particular set of autoantibodies, which have emerged as highly useful to define and classify disease, predict flares, or monitor efficacy of therapy. However, current practice for monitoring autoantibodies is protracted, labor-intensive, and expensive. This review provides an overview on the value of point-of-care (POC) biosensor technology in the diagnosis and management of patients with autoimmune rheumatic diseases. Real-time measurement of autoantibodies will clearly benefit the rheumatology practice in emergency and urgent care settings, where definitive diagnosis is essential for initiation of correct critical care therapy. Immediate serological information in clinic will provide considerable value for long-term patient care and an opportunity for an instant, result-deduced therapeutic action, avoiding delays and improving compliance, especially in field-based and remote areas. We describe the particular autoantibodies that are useful disease and activity markers and would, therefore, be attractive to POC applications. Already existing biosensors and platforms that show promise for autoantibody testing are summarized and comparatively evaluated. As POC assessment is gaining momentum in several areas of patient care, we propose that rheumatology is poised to benefit from this innovative and affordable technology.

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