Immune system: Is the system that is responsible for defending the body against infections and foreign bodies. It is made of blood cells called white cells and organs like the bone marrow, lymph nodes and spleen where those cells are made and live.
Autoimmune: “Auto” means “self” and “immune” means “the immune system.” Autoimmune means when the immune system attacks the body itself instead of defending it.
ANCA: Anti-neutrophil cytoplasmic antibodies. ANCA is an autoantibody (“Auto” means “self” and “anti-“ means against). It is an antibody made by the immune system against the body itself, specifically against a group of white cells named neutrophils. When neutrophils are attacked by the immune system, they die and release toxins that damage the blood vessels.
ANCA-associated vasculitis: ANCA-associated vasculitis is a group of three diseases that are associated with the production of ANCA or anti-neutrophil cytoplasmic antibodies. They include granulomatosis with polyangiitis (Wegener’s), microscopic polyangiitis and Churg-Strauss syndrome.
Prognosis: This is the course and general outcome of the disease.