"Auto-immune disease" is in danger of becoming as meaningless a label as psychosomatic illness and collagen disease, terms which have also been used to name disease groups poorly understood. The naming usually fails to clarify and may result in a mistaken notion that the real basics of the disease are understood. The belief that naming gives power is not limited to primitive man. The internist who wants to find out where we stand with the concept of autoimmune disease will find it useful to read "Autoantibodies and Disease" by Kunkel and Tan in this volume. Antinuclear, anti-cytoplasmic, and anti-immunoglobulin antibodies are discussed generally and this is followed by specific disease categories associated with autoantibodies. No attempt is made to tie everything up in a sweeping, unitary theory; in fact, no summary statement is made.
A review which should fascinate most readers regardless of specialty is that by Good and Papermaster,