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Antimitochondrial-antibody-and-ama-m2



Why Get Tested

To help diagnose primary biliary cholangitis also sometimes called primary biliary cirrhosis PBC

When To Get Tested

When you have abnormal results on a liver panel and or symptoms that your healthcare practitioner suspects may be due to PBC

Sample Required

A blood sample drawn from a vein in your arm

Test Preparation Needed

None




Common Questions


The antimitochondrial antibody AMA test or the AMA-M2 test may be ordered to help diagnose primary biliary cholangitis PBC Other tests that may be ordered include Smooth muscle antibodies SMA Antinuclear antibodies ANA Alkaline phosphatase ALP IgM level Bilirubin Albumin Prothrombin time PT C-reactive protein CRP GGT These tests often help detect PBC distinguishing it from other autoimmune conditions causing liver damage and may be useful in helping to predict whether a person may need a liver transplant

The AMA or AMA-M2 test is ordered when a healthcare practitioner suspects that someone has an autoimmune disorder such as PBC that is affecting the liver A person may have symptoms that include Itching pruritus Jaundice Fatigue Abdominal pain Enlarged liver Many of those affected with early PBC do not have any symptoms The condition is often initially identified because a person has abnormal results on a liver panel elevated liver enzymes especially alkaline phosphatase ALP An AMA or AMA-M2 test may be ordered along with or following a variety of tests that are used to help diagnose and or rule out other causes of liver disease or injury These causes can include infections such as viral hepatitis drugs alcohol abuse toxins genetic conditions metabolic conditions and autoimmune hepatitis

A high AMA or AMA-M2 level titer in the blood indicates that the most likely cause of symptoms and or liver damage is PBC The level of AMA is not related to the severity of PBC symptoms or to a person s prognosis A negative AMA or AMA-M2 means that it is likely that a person s symptoms are due to something other than PBC but the result does not rule out the condition About 5-10 of those with PBC will not have significant amounts of AMA or AMA-M2

By themselves AMA and AMA-M2 are not diagnostic of PBC but in conjunction with other laboratory tests and clinical symptoms the diagnosis of PBC can be made A liver biopsy may be performed to look for characteristic signs of PBC in the liver tissue and to confirm the diagnosis but is not always necessary Imaging scans of the liver may also be ordered to look for bile duct obstructions About 50 of the cases of PBC will be discovered before a person has noticeable symptoms

The cause is currently not known It is not infectious and not inherited although an increased susceptibility to develop autoimmune disorders may occur in some families It can occur in anyone at any age but it is primarily seen in middle-aged women

The course and severity of PBC is difficult to predict Many people will have no or few symptoms for many years For more information consult with your healthcare practitioner and see the links in the Related Pages section

No the test requires specialized equipment and will not be offered by all laboratories Your blood will likely be sent to a reference laboratory

The level of antibody titer may vary over time but in most cases once a person has detectable AMA that person will continue to do so