Antimitochondrial Antibody Test

Antimitochondrial Antibody Test- Why am I having this test?

Antimitochondrial antibody test helps to diagnose primary biliary cholangitis (PBC). PBC is a long-term (chronic) disorder that causes inflammation and scarring of the bile ducts inside the liver.

It is an autoimmune disorder, meaning that it is caused by the body’s disease-fighting (immune) system attacking its own body tissues.

What is being tested?

This test measures the amount of antimitochondrial antibodies (AMA) in your blood. Antibodies are cells that are part of the immune system. When your immune system attacks your liver and bile ducts, your AMA level increases. AMAs are found in almost all people who have PBC. AMAs are also found in people who have other autoimmune liver diseases.

What kind of sample is taken?

A blood sample is required for this test. It is usually collected by inserting a needle into a blood vessel.

How are the results reported?

Your test results will be reported as either positive or negative for AMAs.

What do the results mean?

A negative test means that no AMAs were found, which is considered a normal result.

A positive test means that there are AMAs in your blood, which may mean that you have:

  • PBC, or a different autoimmune disease of the liver.
  • Liver infection.

Talk with your health care provider about what your results mean.

Questions to ask your health care provider

Ask your health care provider, or the department that is doing the test:

  • When will my results be ready?
  • How will I get my results?
  • What are my treatment options?
  • What other tests do I need?
  • What are my next steps?

Summary

  • Antimitochondrial antibody test helps to diagnose primary biliary cholangitis (PBC). PBC is an autoimmune disorder that causes inflammation and scarring of the bile ducts inside the liver.
  • This test measures the amount of antimitochondrial antibodies (AMA) you have in your blood. When your immune system attacks your liver and bile ducts, your AMA level increases.
  • Your test results will be reported as either positive or negative for AMAs.