ABBREVIATIONS & DEFINITIONS
Antineutrophil Cytoplasmic Antibody (ANCA)— autoantibodies directed against antigens from polynuclear neutrophils and monocytes, which represent different types of white blood cells, the infection-fighting cells of the blood.
Vasculitis: a generalized disorder of the immune system where antibodies attack blood vessels and cause inflammation.
Antibodies: proteins that are produced by the body’s immune cells that attack and destroy bacteria and viruses cause infections. Occasionally the antibodies get confused and attack the body’s own tissues, causing autoimmune disease (autoantibodies).
Methimazole: an antithyroid medication that blocks the thyroid from making thyroid hormone. Methimazole is used to treat hyperthyroidism, especially when it is caused by Graves’ disease.
Propylthiouracil (PTU): an antithyroid medication that blocks the thyroid from making thyroid hormone. Propylthiouracil is used to treat hyperthyroidism, especially in women during pregnancy.
Agranulocytosis: a marked decrease in the white blood cell count that causes a patient to be more likely to develop an infection. This is commonly associated with a fever and/or a sore throat.
Hyperthyroidism: a condition where the thyroid gland is overactive and produces too much thyroid hormone. Hyperthyroidism may be treated with antithyroid medications (Methimazole, Propylthiouracil), radioactive iodine or surgery.
Graves’ disease: the most common cause of hyperthyroidism in the United States. It is an autoimmune disease caused by antibodies that attack the thyroid and turn it on.