Acetylcholine receptor antibodies - plasma or serum

Last updated: Monday, 06, August, 2007

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Item Process
Specimen

5 mL blood in plain tube on melting ice, or blood spots on kit filter paper.

Method

Competitive binding assay using radio-labelled alpha-bungarotoxin acetylcholine receptor. Radio-immunoassay using cell lines.

Reference Interval

Qualitative test. Positive result is significant.

Application

Diagnosis of myasthenia gravis; monitoring disease activity.

Interpretation

More than 90% of patients with generalised myasthenia gravis and about 60% of those with ocular myasthenia have detectable acetylcholine receptor antibodies. The test is positive in less than 1% of non-myasthenic individuals and a positive result usually indicates a related disorder.

Reference

Drachman, Daniel B. Medical progress: myasthenia gravis. N Engl J Med 1994; 330: 1797-810.