John H. Vaughan, M.D., F.A.C.P.
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The so-called autoimmune diseases are characterized by the production of autoreactive antibodies and lymphocytes capable of damaging the patients' own tissues. The damage may occur from circulating immune complexes, as in lupus nephritis; from the reaction of the autoantibodies directly with cellular elements, as in hemolytic anemias; or from attack on the tissues by autoaggressive immune lymphocytes, as in experimental thyroiditis and probably in Hashimoto's disease. Autoimmune disease can be initiated by drugs. The best understood example is pronestyl lupus, in which the data indicate that the drug probably elicits the syndrome independently of any hypothetical underlying individual predisposition to
Vaughan JH. Autoimmune Diseases: Drugs, Viruses, and Mechanisms.. Ann Intern Med. ;76:854. doi: 10.7326/0003-4819-76-5-854_4
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Published: Ann Intern Med. 1972;76(5):854.
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