Efstathia K. Kapsogeorgou PhD and Athanasios G. Tzioufas MD
Autoimmune diseases constitute a diverse group of disorders characterized by cellular and humoral responses against self. The humoral autoimmune responses are directed against various cellular and extracellular components. These responses are highly specific for each autoimmune disease and result in the production of autoantibodies that characterize certain disease entities, representing a valuable tool for the diagnosis of autoimmune diseases. Furthermore, certain autoantibodies are helpful in the prognosis of disease development, progression and severity, as well as in the classification of patients with distinct disease subtypes. Today, the value of autoantibodies in the follow-up of patients is limited, but preliminary data suggest that they may be useful in predicting response to treatment.