Antimitochondrial Antibody and Antimitochondrial M2 Antibody
Does this test have other names?
AMA, mitochondrial antibody, antimitochondrial M2 antibody
What is this test?
This test looks for substances called antimitochondrial antibody and antimitochondrial
M2 antibody in your blood.
These substances are usually made by your body if you have a condition called primary
biliary cirrhosis (PBC). PBC is the most common autoimmune disease that affects the
liver. In autoimmune diseases, the immune system attacks organs or tissues in the
PBC causes damage to ducts in the liver that drain away fluid called bile. As a result
bile builds up in the liver. This scars the liver. This scarring keeps the liver from
working as it should. Over time, it causes liver failure.
PBC is especially common in middle-aged women. It often strikes along with other autoimmune
diseases, especially Sjögren's syndrome.
PBC is usually diagnosed and treated early in the course of the disease. This is good,
because early treatment can slow down liver scarring. It keeps liver failure from
happening for a longer time.
Why do I need this test?
You may have this test if you have symptoms of PBC. Symptoms include:
General tiredness (fatigue)
Yellowing of the skin and the whites of the eyes, and dark urine (jaundice)
Dry eyes and mouth. These are symptoms of Sjögren's syndrome.
Buildup of fluid in your ankles and abdomen
You may also have this test if your health care provider thinks you have hepatitis.
Hepatitis is a swelling of the liver.
What other tests might I have along with this test?
Your doctor may also order other tests to confirm that you have PBC. These tests include:
What do my test results mean?
Many things may affect your lab test results. These include the method each lab uses
to do the test. Even if your test results are different from the normal value, you
may not have a problem. To learn what the results mean for you, talk with your health
A normal range for this test is below a 1:20 titer. Titer refers to the portion of the
antibody in your blood.
If your results are higher, it may mean that you have PBC. Higher results may also
be caused by:
How is this test done?
The test requires a blood sample, which is drawn through a needle from a vein in your
Does this test pose any risks?
Taking a blood sample with a needle carries risks that include bleeding, infection,
bruising, or feeling dizzy. When the needle pricks your arm, you may feel a slight
stinging sensation or pain. Afterward, the site may be slightly sore.
What might affect my test results?
Certain medicines can affect your results.
How do I get ready for this test?
You don't need to prepare for this test. But be sure your health care provider knows
about all medicines, herbs, vitamins, and supplements you are taking. This includes
medicines that don't need a prescription and any illicit drugs you may use.