Antiparietal cells antibodies test
The antiparietal cells antibodies test measures the presence of antibodies against the parietal cells of the stomach. The parietal cells make and release intrinsic factor and stomach acid. Intrinsic factor is needed to absorb vitamin B12.
APCA; Anti-gastric parietal cell antibodies
How the test is performed
Blood is typically drawn from a vein, usually from the inside of the elbow or the back of the hand. The site is cleaned with germ-killing medicine (antiseptic). The health care provider wraps an elastic band around the upper arm to apply pressure to the area and make the vein swell with blood.
Next, the health care provider gently inserts a needle into the vein. The blood collects into an airtight vial or tube attached to the needle. The elastic band is removed from your arm. Once the blood has been collected, the needle is removed, and the puncture site is covered to stop any bleeding.
In infants or young children, a sharp tool called a lancet may be used to puncture the skin and make it bleed. The blood collects into a small glass tube called a pipette, or onto a slide or test strip. A bandage may be placed over the area if there is any bleeding.
The blood is sent to the lab, where the liquid portion of the blood (serum) is separated from the cells. A sample of the serum is placed on a slide with samples from a mouse kidney and stomach, which contain parietal cells. If your serum contains parietal cell antibodies, these antibodies will react with the parietal cells on the slide.
How to prepare for the test
No special preparation is necessary.
Why the test is performed
Your health care provider may use this test to help diagnose pernicious anemia. Other tests are also used to help with the diagnosis.
The test is negative.
What abnormal results mean
A positive test result may indicate:
What the risks are
Veins and arteries vary in size from one patient to another and from one side of the body to the other. Obtaining a blood sample from some people may be more difficult than from others.
Other risks associated with having blood drawn are slight but may include:
- Excessive bleeding
- Fainting or feeling light-headed
- Hematoma (blood accumulating under the skin)
- Infection (a slight risk any time the skin is broken)
Less than 2% of the general population test positive for antiparietal cell antibodies. However, that percentage increases with age. Some people over age 60 may test positive for antiparietal cell antibodies.
Persons with other immune disorders such as thyroiditis and type 1 diabetes may also have antiparietal cell antibodies.
Antony AC. Megaloblastic anemias. In: Goldman L, Ausiello D, eds. Cecil Medicine. 23rd ed. Philadelphia, Pa: Saunders Elsevier;2007:chap 170.
David C. Dugdale, III, MD, Professor of Medicine, Division of General Medicine, Department of Medicine, University of Washington School of Medicine; Yi-Bin Chen, MD, Leukemia/Bone Marrow Transplant Program, Massachusetts General Hospital. Also reviewed by David Zieve, MD, MHA, Medical Director, A.D.A.M., Inc.
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