This is the detection of autoantibodies in a patients blood which are directed against the patients own, apparently, normal tissue. This can lead to diseases which can be either organ specific such as Thyroid antibodies in Autoimmune Thyroid Disease or systemic antibodies which are seen in patients with connective tissue diseases such as Systemic Lupus Erythematosus or Sjogrens Sysndrome. A multitude of technology is employed to detect these antibodies.
Tests usually take about a week to complete but more complex cases may take several weeks to identify or exclude rare antibodies. All autoimmune tests must be interpreted in the light of the clinical findings.