Question:

What is the disease called when your white blood cells attack itself?

Answer:

Idiopathic autoimmune hemolytic anemia is a disease where the bodies white blood cells attack red blood cells. In the idiopathic form of this disease, the cause is unknown.

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white blood cells

White blood cells, or leukocytes (also spelled "leukocytes"), are cells of the immune system involved in defending the body against both infectious disease and foreign materials. Five different and diverse types of leukocytes exist, but they are all produced and derived from a multipotent cell in the bone marrow known as a hematopoietic stem cell. They live for about three to four days in the average human body. Leukocytes are found throughout the body, including the blood and lymphatic system.

The number of leukocytes in the blood is often an indicator of disease. There are normally approximately 7000 white blood cells per microliter of blood. They make up approximately 1% of the total blood volume in a healthy adult. An increase in the number of leukocytes over the upper limits is called leukocytosis, and a decrease below the lower limit is called leukopenia. The physical properties of leukocytes, such as volume, conductivity, and granularity, may change due to activation, the presence of immature cells, or the presence of malignant leukocytes in leukemia, and may be reported as Cell Population Data.

Hematology Medicine

Acquired hemolytic anemia can be divided into immune and non-immune mediated forms of hemolytic anemia.

Immune mediated hemolytic anemia (direct Coombs test is positive)

Hematopathology
Autoimmune diseases

Autoimmune diseases arise from an abnormal immune response of the body against substances and tissues normally present in the body (autoimmunity). This may be restricted to certain organs (e.g. in autoimmune thyroiditis) or involve a particular tissue in different places (e.g. Goodpasture's disease which may affect the basement membrane in both the lung and the kidney). The treatment of autoimmune diseases is typically with immunosuppression—medication that decreases the immune response. A large number of autoimmune diseases are recognised.

Biology Anemias
Autoimmune hemolytic anemia

Autoimmune hemolytic anemia (or autoimmune haemolytic anaemia; AIHA) occurs when antibodies directed against the person's own red blood cells (RBCs) cause them to burst (lyse), leading to insufficient plasma concentration. The lifetime of the RBCs is reduced from the normal 100–120 days to just a few days in serious cases. The intracellular components of the RBCs are released into the circulating blood and into tissues, leading to some of the characteristic symptoms of this condition. The antibodies are usually directed against high-incidence antigens, therefore they also commonly act on allogenic RBCs (RBCs originating from outside the person themselves, e.g. in the case of a blood transfusion) AIHA is a relatively rare condition, affecting one to three people per 100,000 per year.

The terminology used in this disease is somewhat ambiguous. Although MeSH uses the term "autoimmune hemolytic anemia", some sources prefer the term "immunohemolytic anemia" so drug reactions can be included in this category. The National Cancer Institute considers "immunohemolytic anemia", "autoimmune hemolytic anemia", and "immune complex hemolytic anemia" to all be synonyms.


Hemolytic anemia

Hemolytic anemia is a form of anemia due to hemolysis, the abnormal breakdown of red blood cells (RBCs), either in the blood vessels (intravascular hemolysis) or elsewhere in the human body (extravascular). It has numerous possible causes, ranging from relatively harmless to life-threatening. The general classification of hemolytic anemia is either inherited or acquired. Treatment depends on the cause and nature of the breakdown.

Symptoms of hemolytic anemia are similar to other forms of anemia (fatigue and shortness of breath), but in addition, the breakdown of red cells leads to jaundice and increases the risk of particular long-term complications, such as gallstones and pulmonary hypertension.

Hemolysis
Red blood cell

Red blood cells, or erythrocytes, are the most common type of blood cell and the vertebrate organism's principal means of delivering oxygen (O2) to the body tissues via the blood flow through the circulatory system. They take up oxygen in the lungs or gills and release it while squeezing through the body's capillaries.

These cells' cytoplasm is rich in hemoglobin, an iron-containing biomolecule that can bind oxygen and is responsible for the blood's red color. The cell membrane is composed of proteins and lipids, and this structure provides properties essential for physiological cell function such as deformability and stability while traversing the circulatory system and specifically the capillary network.

Cold agglutinin disease is an autoimmune disease characterized by the presence of high concentrations of circulating antibodies, usually IgM, directed against red blood cells. It is a form of autoimmune hemolytic anemia, specifically one in which antibodies only bind red blood cells at low body temperatures, typically 28-31°C.

It was first described in 1957.

Science of drugs including their origin, composition, pharmacokinetics,
pharmacodynamics, therapeutic use, and toxicology.

Pharmacology (from Greek φάρμακον, pharmakon, "poison" in classic Greek; "drug" in modern Greek; and -λογία, -logia "study of", "knowledge of") is the branch of medicine and biology concerned with the study of drug action, where a drug can be broadly defined as any man-made, natural, or endogenous (within the body) molecule which exerts a biochemical and/or physiological effect on the cell, tissue, organ, or organism. More specifically, it is the study of the interactions that occur between a living organism and chemicals that affect normal or abnormal biochemical function. If substances have medicinal properties, they are considered pharmaceuticals.

Idiopathic autoimmune hemolytic anemia disease
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