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Autoimmune Testing in Primary Care for Rheumatology Referrals

Information provided by Quest Diagnostics

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 conditions1 
  • Can affect men and all age groups, including children and seniors

Testing for autoimmune diseases helps you evaluate your patient's symptoms, reach a confident diagnosis, and, when appropriate, make a suitable referral.

On Wednesday, May 12, 2021, at 12 PM EST/9 AM PST, Quest Diagnostics will be hosting an educational webinar discussing autoimmune testing essentials in primary care to guide rheumatology referrals. Advance registration is required and attendance will be limited.

Register now to reserve your spot.

In the live webinar on Wednesday, May 12, 2021, at 12 PM EST/9 AM PST, Ara Dikranian, MD, and Ann Salm, M (ASCP) CM, MS, PhD, will:

  • Review autoimmune disease background and epidemiology
  • Discuss the role of antinuclear antibody (ANA) cascade testing
  • Outline diagnostic markers for early rheumatoid arthritis (RA) diagnosis
  • Explore case studies that demonstrate qualified rheumatology referrals

For more information, visit the event registration webpage or email EducationalEvents@QuestDiagnostics.com.

You can also visit Education.QuestDiagnostics.com to view on-demand webinars.

Ara Dikranian, MD, has been a rheumatologist at the Cabrillo Center for Rheumatic Disease, San Diego, CA, since 2004. Dr. Dikranian comes from a long family line of healthcare providers, following in the footsteps of his father, grandfather, and two uncles. His enthusiasm, compassion, and love for rheumatology are greater today than ever before.

Ann Salm, M (ASCP) CM, MS, PhD, is Director, Medical Science Liaison for Infectious Disease & Immunology at Quest Diagnostics, serving in the primary role of field clinical consultant for infectious disease and immunodiagnostics. Her specific focus is in the area of HIV and HCV screening and care, as well as Quantiferon™ Gold and autoimmune testing. She provides detailed scientific data internally to key opinion leaders and thought leaders in said clinical disciplines.


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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