Home Laboratory values Autoantibodies


by Josephine Andrews
Published: Last Updated on 358 views

Autoantibodies are antibodies that attack the body’s own healthy tissue. As a result, an autoimmune disease develops. Read more about the different types of autoantibodies and which diseases they occur in here!

What are autoantibodies?

Autoantibodies are antibodies (defenses) that the immune system produces against the body’s own cells or tissue as a result of a pathological dysregulation. Doctors then speak of an autoimmune disease . They usually become noticeable in early adulthood: under the influence of unknown triggers in the environment and certain hereditary factors, the immune system produces auto-antibodies that attack the body’s own tissue.

When are autoantibodies determined?

The doctor has autoantibodies determined if he suspects an autoimmune disease in the patient. However, he never makes the diagnosis solely on the basis of the laboratory value.

Examples of autoimmune diseases and their corresponding antibodies:

autoimmune disease autoantibodies
type 1 diabetes ICA (islet cell antibody)
GADA (glutamate decarboxylase antibody)
IA2-AK (tyrosine phosphatase antibodies)
insulin antibodies
Basedow’s disease TPO-AK (thyroid peroxidase antibodies)
MAK (antibodies against microsomal thyroid antigen)
Hashimoto’s thyroiditis TgAK (thyroglobulin antibodies)
TPO-AK (thyroid peroxidase antibodies)
Myasthenia gravis AchR-AK (acetylcholine receptor antibodies)
skeletal muscle antibodies)
Rheumatoid arthritis RF ( rheumatoid factor )
Rheumatic diseases (such as lupus erythematosus , rheumatoid arthritis, panarteritis nodosa, scleroderma ) ANA (Antinuclear Antibodies)
Some vascular inflammation ( vasculitis ) ANCA (Antineutrophil Cytoplasmic Antibodies)
Granulomatosis with polyangiitis (formerly: Wegener’s disease) cANCA (cytoplasmic type ANCA)


Inflammation of small vessels ( Churg-Strauss syndrome , microscopic polyangiitis) pANCA (perinuclear type ANCA)
Primary sclerosing bile duct inflammation, chronic inflammatory bowel disease, primary biliary cirrhosis Atypical pANCA
Chronic active hepatitis SMA (anti-smooth muscle antibodies)
ANA (Antinuclear Antibodies)
autoimmune hepatitis LKM (liver-kidney microsomal antibodies)

What are autoantibodies determined from?

The doctor needs a normal blood sample to determine autoantibodies.

When is the autoantibody value too high?

Autoantibodies play an important role in the diagnosis of autoimmune diseases. Sometimes they can be found in the blood before the onset of the disease . However, the detection of autoantibodies by no means proves that the patient has the disease. The doctor must also take into account the patient’s symptoms and any other test results.

Slightly increased autoantibody values ​​can also occur in healthy people, for example slightly increased ANA or rheumatoid factors in smokers, women who take the ” pill ” or in the elderly.

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