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Introduction 

Introduction
Chapter:
Introduction
Author(s):

David A. Isenberg

, and Ian Giles

DOI:
10.1093/med/9780198746690.003.0453
Page of

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date: 05 March 2021

About 1 in 20 people develop an autoimmune disease, many of which involve the musculoskeletal system. Young women are particularly at risk, but the development at any age of symptoms such as unexplained fever, rash, polyarthritis, Raynaud’s phenomenon, or mouth ulcers should encourage serological screening for autoimmune rheumatic or vasculitic disorder. The autoimmune rheumatic diseases are a heterogeneous group of disorders characterized by clinical involvement of the joints, connective tissues, muscles, internal organs, Raynaud’s phenomenon, and cutaneous manifestations. They include a broad clinical spectrum of disease, including systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE), rheumatoid arthritis (RA), Sjögren’s syndrome, scleroderma, dermatomyositis, polymyositis, antiphospholipid syndrome (APS), and the vasculitides.

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