Challenging Cases in Rheumatology and Diseases of the Immune System (BOK)
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Rheumatology is a branch of medicine studying abnormalities and diseases of the musculoskeletal system: Joints, muscles, and connective tissues. Immunology is a branch of medicine studying abnormalities and diseases of our immune system. Immune diseases are either due to deficiency of the immune system leading to "immunodeficiency" or due to failure of recognizing the "self" from "non-se'f" and attacking the own system, leading to "autoimmune disease," or due to hypersensitivity diseases such as allergic rhinitis. Rheumatic and Immunologic diseases are closely related because the underlying etiology of certain rheumatic diseases is abnormality of the immune system. Understanding the immune system is the key factor in recognizing the abnormalities in rheumatic diseases. Therefore, clinical immunologists and rheumatologist may occasionally see and treat similar conditions. In fact some specialists are dually trained in Allergy/Immunology and Rheumatology. What makes these two branches of medicine different is their uniqueness. Rheumatologists for example evaluate and treat arthritis (diseases of the joints) such as rheumatoid arthritis, osteoarthritis, and fibromyalgia, to name a few. Allergists and clinical Immunologists treat hypersensitivities such as allergic rhinitis, bee sting allergy, and allergic asthma, and immunological diseases such as immunodeficiencies among others. Both specialists, however deal with autoimmune diseases. Why a Book in Immunology and Rheumatology? Our musculoskeletal structure holds and protects our internal organs. Any insult to such structure, excluding acute bone fractures, results in various conditions known as rheumatic diseases. Whether the involved area is a joint, a cartilage, or a muscle, the understanding of the immune system helps to elucidate the mechanisms of such diseases. As the population ages in the 21st century, the role of rheumatology and Immunology becomes more apparent and appreciated. Approaching a patient with multiple rheumatic diseases is not an easy task. In fact our immense system is perhaps the most complicated system of the human body; this is due to presence and interactions of myriad of cells and chemical mediators that participate in complex pathways such as the inflammatory response and others to defend the body and respond to pathogens. In addition, our immune system protects us against further exposure to harmful substances. Although there are several books on the subjects of immunology and rheumatology, this case-based study of these two subjects is a unique way of reviewing and discussing such complicated areas of medicine. The Book Format: This book will be divided into 6 parts and 16 chapters. The Estimated length: 300-350 manuscript pages. As with the previous titles I have edited (and which have received very favorable reviews), each chapter will consist of 2 or more cases with discussion, and 5 multiple choice questions per case. This title will be similar to Challenging Cases in Pulmonology (Springer 2011), and Challenging Cases in Allergic and Immunologic Diseases of the Skin (Springer, 2010), Challenging Cases in Allergy and Immunology (Humana Press, 2009).