Mitochondrial (M2) Antibody Blood Test
The Mitochondrial (M2) Antibody Blood Test detects M2 antibodies in the blood to screen for primary biliary cirrhosis.
What is the purpose of this test?
Order this Mitochondrial (M2) Antibody Blood Test, which detects M2 antibodies in the blood to screen for primary biliary cirrhosis. Mitochondrial (M2) antibodies, also known as antimitochondrial antibodies (AMA), are autoantibodies that the body produces and are strongly linked to primary biliary cirrhosis (PBC).
PBC is an autoimmune disorder causing inflammation and scarring of liver bile ducts. It progresses slowly, causing liver damage to worsen and blocking the flow of bile. The buildup of harmful substances in the liver caused by blocked bile ducts can eventually lead to permanent scarring, known as cirrhosis. This condition is typically found in women aged 35-60, with 90-95% testing positive for antimitochondrial antibodies.
AMA are autoantibodies that the body produces against its own antigens. There are nine types of AMA antigens, labeled M1-M9, of which M2 and M9 are the most likely to cause illness (clinically significant). The M2 type of AMA is particularly prevalent in PBC, while the other types may be present in other conditions. Some labs offer the AMA-M2 test as a more specific diagnostic tool to determine if PBC is present.
When should I order a Mitochondrial (M2) Antibody Blood Test?
Individuals may order this test if they have experienced symptoms related to PBC. Common signs or symptoms of PBC include:
- Itching (pruritus)
- Abdominal pain
- Enlarged liver
Many individuals with early PBC may be asymptomatic, and the condition is often detected through abnormal results on a liver panel, particularly elevated levels of alkaline phosphatase (ALP).
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