Last Updated on January 11, 2023 by Tabraiz
ASMA (anti-smooth muscle antibody) is a malfunctioned antibody that detects a healthy cell and proteins as foreign elements. Antibodies are formed to fight foreign elements that can affect internal functions. This malicious behavior of antibodies is known as autoimmune antibodies.
In the case of ASMA, they attack muscles and tissues throughout parts of the body. And the ASMA test tries to find these harmful antibodies in blood samples.
Where Can Anti-Smooth Muscle Antibody Be Found?
ASMAs can be found in various medical issues like Hepatitis, Infectious diseases, Rheumatic disorders, and Cancer. The most common target of ASMAs is the liver, causing diseases like autoimmune Hepatitis and Primary Biliary Cirrhosis. If you are suffering from chronic liver disease, you may need to take an ASMA test.
How Can Anyone Know They are Affected by ASMA?
There are some symptoms that can be seen when you have been affected by anti-smooth muscle antibodies. The symptoms are:
- Enlarged liver, called hepatomegaly
- Abdominal distension or swelling
- Tenderness over the liver
- Dark urine
- Pale-colored stools
- Yellowing of the skin and eyes or jaundice
- Loss of appetite
- Joint pain
- Abdominal discomfort
- Skin rash
What is the Procedure for the ASMAs Test?
If you observe these symptoms, you need to see a doctor. The doctor will prescribe you take an ASMA test. You don’t need to do anything for that; the test can be done in a hospital, clinic, or pathology center.
The pathologist will take your blood in the following steps,
- First, they will wrap an elastic band around your hand that will stop the blood flow and makes your veins more visible. This way, taking blood will be easier for the professional sample collector.
- After that, they will clean the skin area with an antiseptic and ready the injection needle. Then with a steady hand, they will insert the needle into your vein and draw some blood with the suction tube.
- After the pathologist collects the required blood, they will remove the elastic band and secure the open wound with a bandage.
The sample will be sent to the lab for analysis.
What are the Discomforts One May Feel?
Generally, there are no signs of discomfort during the test. But sometimes, patients experience bruising at the needle site. And that will heal automatically after some time. If you are on a blood thinner medication or have a problem with clotting, you may face some discomfort. These are:
- Lightheadedness or fainting
- Excessive bleeding
- An infection at the needle site.
- A hematoma accumulation of blood under the skin
In this case, you need to consult your doctor beforehand.
What are the Interpretations of Different Test Results?
If the result is negative, then it means the presence of ASMA is not present in your blood.
But if your ASMA test result comes positive, then it can be the cause of many reasons besides autoimmune liver disease, such as:
- Chronic Hepatitis C infection
- Infectious mononucleosis
After the positive result, your doctor may order some other tests, such as for detecting autoimmune hepatitis and an F-actin antibody test.
According to the ‘National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases’, women are more prone to have autoimmune hepatitis than men. In this disease, your immune system makes antibodies that attack healthy cells in your liver.
If you are diagnosed with autoimmune hepatitis, that means you may face:
- Liver damage
- Liver cancer
- Liver failure
In some cases, you may need to have a liver transplant. So when you get your test result, you need to take it consult your doctor for proper evaluation, diagnosis, and treatment. You need to follow the doctor’s advice in these cases and make sure to start the treatment as soon as possible.
Like any other general blood test, the ASMA test is a low-risk procedure. Nowadays, you can book a blood test online, and the blood sample will be collected from your home. Metropolis is a reputed pathology lab for all kinds of blood tests. Call them now and fix your appointment.