Anti-Mitochondrial Antibody (AMCA)

Clinical definition of the Antimitochondrial Antibody (AMCA) test
Anti-mitochondrial antibodies (AMCA) are autoantibodies, formed against mitochondria, primarily those in cells of the liver. Mitochondria are organelles in cells which contain enzymes responsible for producing energy.  The presence of AMCAs in the blood or serum of a person is indicative of several autoimmune diseases such as primary biliary cirrhosis (PBC) causing progressive hepatic destruction and blockage of the bile flow. It is mainly done in patients showing signs of liver damage and to differentiate between bile system-related cirrhosis and liver problems due to a blockage, viral hepatitis, or alcoholic cirrhosis.

Why is the Antimitochondrial Antibody (AMCA) test done?
It is done to help diagnose a suspected case of autoimmune disorder such as PBC.

What are the common signs/symptoms when the Antimitochondrial Antibody (AMCA) test is done?
Early PBC patients may not show any symptoms. However the following symptoms can be seen in further progressive stages.

  • Enlarged liver and spleen
  • Fatigue
  • Jaundice
  • Itchiness

Who should do the Antimitochondrial Antibody (AMCA) test (Target population)?
Seen mainly in middle-aged women, and in those infected with other autoimmune diseases. It may also be done in patients suspected to have a liver disease or injury.

What should I do before the Antimitochondrial Antibody (AMCA) test?

Specimen type

Specimen collection procedure

Preparatory instructions during specimen collection*

Serum (Blood Sample)

Venipuncture - Collection of blood from a vein, usually from the arm.

No Fasting Required.

No other special preparations required.

*Subjects suffering from any illness or on oral or injectable medications are advised to consult their physician prior to requesting any tests or procedures.

How do I interpret my Antimitochondrial Antibody (AMCA) test results?

Reference

Interval

20.0 Units or less:

Negative

20.1-24.9 Units: l

Equivocal

25.0 Units or greater:

Positive 

‘*A Reference range is a set of values which helps the healthcare professional to interpret a medical test. It may vary with age, gender, and other factors. Reference ranges may also vary between labs, in value & units depending on instruments used and method of establishment of reference ranges’

Diseases/conditions related to the Antimitochondrial Antibody (AMCA) test

  • Autoimmune hepatitis
  • Cirrhosis
  • Liver blockage
  • Primary biliary cirrhosis
  • Rheumatoid arthritis (this disease may occur along with PBC in some patients)
  • Systemic lupus erythematosus
  • Thyroiditis
  • Primary and secondary sclerosing cholangitis
  • Liver disease due to chronic inflammatory bowel disease
  • Bile duct obstruction

Other tests related to the Antimitochondrial Antibody (AMCA) test

  • Antinuclear antibodies (ANA)
  • Antineutrophil cytoplasmic antibody (ANCA)
  • Antimicrosomal antibody (AMA)
  • Bilirubin
  • Albumin
  • Prothrombin time
  • C-reactive protein
  • GGTP
  • SGOT
  • SGPT
  • Liver panel
  • Smooth muscle antibodies (SMA)
  • IgM level

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