Immunosuppression Screen

About this Site


The aim of the "Immunosuppression Screen" is to assist healthcare providers in minimising preventable adverse outcomes of immunosuppression.

"Immunosuppression Screen" has been designed by practicing Australian clinicians as an easy, annually updated, evidence-based tool to rapidly evaluate the risks for an individual patient, irrespective of diagnosis or the planned immunosuppressive regimen.

About immune mediated inflammatory disease

The healthy human immune system is delicately balanced, defending against infections and preventing unwanted inflammation. However, a significant proportion of human chronic illness can be attributed to unbalanced (dysregulated) immunity, resulting in unwanted and potentially harmful inflammatory tissue damage. Collectively, these are called "immune mediated inflammatory diseases" and include common disabling diseases such as rheumatoid arthritis, multiple sclerosis, Crohns disease, lupus, vasculitis, uveitis and nephritis among many others. The immune system is also primarily responsible for rejection of transplanted organs.

About the risks of immunosuppression

Advances in immunology have enabled a remarkable new generation of powerful therapies to change the way the immune system functions - so called immunosuppressive or immunomodulatory therapies. These have the potential to dramatically improve patient outcomes in inflammatory diseases and transplantation, but present the new challenge of an expanded range of potential risks of side effects (adverse reactions).

Many of the key adverse effects of immunosuppression can be prevented by careful patient selection and evaluation, but requires detailed assessment and attention to updated guidelines that can be difficult to implement in busy clinics.
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Why we developed "Immunosuppression Screen"

Immunosuppression Screen is designed by two Australian practicing clinicians � an Immunologist and a Neurologist - guided by our own experience. Our practice does not always live up to our knowledge of what we should do. We need a simple way to do better.

Immunosuppression Screen has been designed principally for ease of use in a busy clinic environment and despite the crowded waiting room. It can be delegated to other team members.

Our focus is on risks that we can modify. Immunosuppression is risky, and the risks are complex and develop over years. The evidence base by which we rate and act upon these risks is incomplete. In the interests of ease of use, some common potential risks and many specific drug-related risks have been omitted. The risk assessment tool itself does not make immunosuppression safe. Please refer to Terms and Conditions for more information.

Annual updates

We envisage this tool be applied to each patient annually. We plan to make changes annually as new risks, new tests and better information becomes available. For instance it is quite likely that by the 2012 version a serological test for JC virus status will be readily available.