You do not need to take special steps before this test.
How the Test will Feel
You may feel slight pain or a sting when the needle is inserted to draw blood. Afterward, there may be some throbbing.
Why the Test is Performed
Autoimmune disorders are a possible cause of liver disease. The most common of these diseases are autoimmune hepatitis and primary biliary cirrhosis.
This group of tests helps your health care provider diagnose liver disease.
The normal range for protein levels in the blood will change with each laboratory. Please check with your health care provider for the normal ranges in your particular laboratory.
Negative results on all antibodies are normal.
Note: Normal value ranges may vary slightly among different laboratories. Talk to your doctor about the meaning of your specific test results.
The examples above show the common measurements for results for these tests. Some laboratories use different measurements or may test different specimens.
What Abnormal Results Mean
Blood tests for autoimmune diseases are not wholly accurate. They can have false negative results (you have the disease, but the test is negative) and false positive results (you do not have the disease, but the test is positive).
A weakly positive or low titer positive test for autoimmune disease is often not due to any disease.
A positive test on the panel may be a sign of autoimmune hepatitis or other autoimmune liver disease.
If the test is positive mostly for anti-mitochondrial antibodies, you are likely to have primary biliary cirrhosis.
If the immune proteins are high and albumin is low, you may have liver cirrhosis or chronic active hepatitis.
Veins and arteries vary in size so it may be harder to get a blood sample from one person than another.
Other slight risks from having blood drawn but may include:
George F. Longstreth, MD, Department of Gastroenterology, Kaiser Permanente Medical Care Program, San Diego, California. Also reviewed by A.D.A.M. Health Solutions, Ebix, Inc., Editorial Team: David Zieve, MD, MHA, Bethanne Black, Stephanie Slon, and Nissi Wang.