Cardiolipin Antibodies (IgA, IgG, IgM)

The Cardiolipin Antibodies (IgA, IgG, IgM) panel contains 3 tests with 3 biomarkers.

Brief Description: The Cardiolipin IgA IgG IgM Antibodies test is a valuable tool in diagnosing and assessing various autoimmune and thrombotic disorders that involve the immune system's reaction against cardiolipin, a phospholipid present in cell membranes. This test aids healthcare providers in understanding the risk of clotting disorders and autoimmune conditions.

Also Known As: Anticardiolipin Antibodies Test, aCL Antibody Test, Cardiolipin IgG Antibody Test, Cardiolipin IgA Antibody Test, Cardiolipin IgM Antibody Test

Collection Method: Blood Draw

Specimen Type: Plasma

Test Preparation: No preparation required

When is a Cardiolipin Antibodies test ordered?

Cardiolipin antibody testing is frequently requested as part of an excessive clotting workup when a person exhibits blood clot-related symptoms, especially when such symptoms reoccur. Depending on where the clot is, different signs and symptoms may be present.

As a follow-up to a protracted PTT test, testing may also be mandated when a woman has experienced repeated miscarriages and/or in conjunction with lupus anticoagulant testing. If a cardiolipin antibody is found, the test may be repeated several weeks later to see if it is a transient or persistent antibody.

When a person exhibits the signs and symptoms of an autoimmune condition and/or receives a positive ANA test result, a test for cardiolipin antibodies may also be prescribed since it may give the doctor further details to help make a diagnosis. If cardiolipin antibodies are not found in a patient with a known autoimmune disease like lupus, further testing may be required to check for the emergence of these antibodies.

What does a Cardiolipin Antibodies test check for?

The immune system creates cardiolipin antibodies, which are autoantibodies that wrongly target the body's own cardiolipins, which are located in the cell and platelet membranes. These autoantibodies may have an unidentified impact on the body's capacity to control blood coagulation. Cardiolipin antibodies are discovered with this test in the blood.

Cardiolipins and other phospholipids in their family are lipid molecules that are crucial to the blood clotting process. Cardiolipin antibodies work by attacking cardiolipins and are linked to a higher risk of repeated, unneeded blood clots in arteries and veins, such the deep veins of the legs or the lungs. They could also be linked to preterm labor, pre-eclampsia, recurrent miscarriages, low platelet counts, and low platelet counts.

The most prevalent antiphospholipid antibody is a class of autoantibodies called cardiolipins that are linked to excessive clotting and autoimmune conditions like lupus. They are usually found in conjunction with other antiphospholipid antibodies, including anti-beta-2 glycoprotein 1 and lupus anticoagulant. Additionally, they might be momentarily picked up in older people, those with HIV/AIDS, some malignancies, and acute infections.

An individual may be diagnosed with antiphospholipid syndrome if they have blood clots that aren't supposed to, have repeated miscarriages, have cardiolipin antibodies, or have another antiphospholipid antibody. A primary or secondary APS may be used. While secondary APS is linked to an autoimmune condition, primary APS is not always connected to a related autoimmune disorder.

Lab tests often ordered with a Cardiolipin Antibodies test:

When a Cardiolipin Antibodies test is ordered, it's often part of a broader evaluation for autoimmune disorders and clotting abnormalities. Here are some tests commonly ordered alongside it:

  1. Lupus Anticoagulant Testing:

    • Purpose: To detect the presence of lupus anticoagulants, which are antibodies associated with an increased risk of clotting.
    • Why Is It Ordered: To provide additional evidence for the diagnosis of antiphospholipid syndrome, as these antibodies are also part of the diagnostic criteria.
  2. Beta-2 Glycoprotein 1 Antibodies (IgG, IgM, and IgA):

    • Purpose: To measure antibodies against beta-2 glycoprotein 1, another protein associated with APS.
    • Why Is It Ordered: To support the diagnosis of APS, especially when the clinical picture is suggestive but cardiolipin antibody tests are inconclusive.
  3. Complete Blood Count (CBC) with Differential:

    • Purpose: To evaluate overall blood health.
    • Why Is It Ordered: To check for signs of anemia, thrombocytopenia, or other blood cell abnormalities that can occur with APS and other autoimmune disorders.
  4. Prothrombin Time (PT) and Partial Thromboplastin Time (PTT):

    • Purpose: To measure how long it takes blood to clot.
    • Why Is It Ordered: To assess the blood’s clotting ability; prolonged times can be seen in antiphospholipid syndrome.
  5. Antinuclear Antibodies (ANA):

    • Purpose: To detect antibodies that target the body’s own tissues, indicative of autoimmune disorders.
    • Why Is It Ordered: To evaluate for systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE) or other autoimmune conditions, which can coexist with APS.
  6. C-Reactive Protein (CRP) and Erythrocyte Sedimentation Rate (ESR):

    • Purpose: To measure markers of inflammation.
    • Why Is It Ordered: To assess for inflammation, which can accompany autoimmune disorders like SLE and APS.
  7. Kidney Function Test:

    • Purpose: To evaluate kidney function.
    • Why Is It Ordered: Because APS can affect kidney function, and it’s also a concern in patients with SLE.

These tests, when ordered alongside a Cardiolipin IgG, IgM, and IgA Antibodies test, provide a comprehensive evaluation of autoimmune and coagulation status. They are crucial for diagnosing antiphospholipid syndrome, assessing the risk of clotting, and managing associated conditions like systemic lupus erythematosus. The specific combination of tests will depend on the individual’s symptoms, clinical presentation, and medical history.

Conditions where a Cardiolipin Antibodies test is recommended:

The Cardiolipin IgA IgG IgM Antibodies test is ordered to assess and diagnose various conditions, including:

  • Antiphospholipid Syndrome (APS): Elevated levels of cardiolipin antibodies are associated with APS, a condition characterized by blood clotting, recurrent miscarriages, and other clot-related issues.

  • Lupus: Cardiolipin antibodies can also be present in individuals with systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE), an autoimmune disorder that affects multiple systems in the body.

How does my health care provider use a Cardiolipin Antibodies test?

Cardiolipin antibody tests are routinely used to assist identify the underlying cause of:

  • An unexplained blood clot
  • Multiple miscarriages
  • a prolonged coagulation PTT result; in this context, the test is frequently conducted in conjunction with lupus anticoagulant testing

If cardiolipin antibodies are discovered during an initial test, they are typically checked again 12 weeks later to see if their presence is permanent or transient. Cardiolipin antibodies may emerge at any moment in the future, therefore if a person with a known autoimmune condition tests negative for them, they may be retested in the future.

IgG, IgM, and/or IgA are the three kinds of cardiolipin antibodies that may be found in the blood. IgG and IgM are the two most often examined antibodies. IgA cardiolipin antibody testing may be required, nevertheless, if these tests come back negative and clinical suspicions persist.

Along with cardiolipin antibody tests, other tests including anti-beta-2 glycoprotein 1 antibody and lupus anticoagulant testing may also be carried out.

What do my Cardiolipin Antibodies test results mean?

A negative result only indicates that there are no cardiolipin antibodies present or none that are present in the blood at the time of the test.

Of all the antiphospholipid antibodies, cardiolipin antibodies are the most widespread. It is common to find them in a person's blood temporarily as a result of an infection or medication, as well as in old people who don't have any symptoms. Even though the low to moderate levels of antibody present in these circumstances are frequently insignificant, they still need to be assessed along with any signs, symptoms, and/or other clinical data.

When tested again 12 weeks later, moderate to high levels of cardiolipin antibodies that were present the first time are likely still present. This particular antibody may be linked to an increased risk of excessive clotting or recurrent miscarriages.

Most Common Questions About the Cardiolipin IgA IgG IgM Antibodies test:

Purpose and Applications

Why is the Cardiolipin IgA IgG IgM Antibodies test ordered?

The Cardiolipin IgA IgG IgM Antibodies test is typically ordered to help diagnose antiphospholipid syndrome (APS) or to determine the cause of inappropriate blood clotting or recurrent miscarriages. APS is an autoimmune disorder where the body's immune system mistakenly produces antibodies against certain phospholipids, leading to increased risk of clots in veins and arteries.

What are the clinical indications for the Cardiolipin IgA IgG IgM Antibodies test?

The test may be ordered when a person has unexplained blood clotting events, recurrent miscarriages, or signs and symptoms suggestive of systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE), since APS is often associated with SLE.

Clinical Significance

What do elevated Cardiolipin IgA IgG IgM Antibodies levels indicate?

Elevated levels of these antibodies suggest that an individual has a higher risk of blood clotting events. It can be indicative of APS, especially when accompanied by clinical symptoms. However, a single positive result is not sufficient for a definitive diagnosis; repeat testing is usually required to confirm the presence and persistence of these antibodies.

Can a person have elevated Cardiolipin IgA IgG IgM Antibodies and not have APS?

Yes, these antibodies can be transiently elevated in various conditions, such as infections, medications, or other autoimmune disorders. It's the persistent presence of these antibodies combined with clinical symptoms that often lead to an APS diagnosis.


How are the results of the Cardiolipin IgA IgG IgM Antibodies test interpreted?

Results are typically reported as units, and interpretation depends on the specific reference range of the laboratory conducting the test. Positive results need to be evaluated in conjunction with clinical symptoms and other relevant tests. It's also essential to consider that these antibodies can be present in individuals without APS.

Is there a difference between a borderline, low positive, and high positive result?

Yes, the level of positivity can sometimes provide insight into the risk associated with the condition. For instance, a high positive result might indicate a higher risk of clotting events than a low positive or borderline result. However, any positive result requires clinical correlation.

Additional Considerations

What other tests might be ordered alongside the Cardiolipin IgA IgG IgM Antibodies test?

Other tests that might be ordered include lupus anticoagulant and beta-2 glycoprotein I antibody tests. These, along with the cardiolipin antibodies test, are considered the primary tests for APS diagnosis.

If my Cardiolipin IgA IgG IgM Antibodies test results are abnormal, what's the next step?

If your results are abnormal, your healthcare provider may recommend a repeat test in 12 weeks to confirm the persistence of the antibodies. Depending on the context, they might also order additional tests related to clotting or other autoimmune disorders. They will interpret your results in light of your clinical symptoms and medical history.

We advise having your results reviewed by a licensed medical healthcare professional for proper interpretation of your results.

The following is a list of what is included in the item above. Click the test(s) below to view what biomarkers are measured along with an explanation of what the biomarker is measuring.

Also known as: Anti-Cardiolipin IgA, Cardiolipin Antibody IgA, Phospholipid Antibody, IgA

Cardiolipin Ab (Iga)

Also known as: Anti-Cardiolipin IgG, Cardiolipin Antibody IgG, Phospholipid Antibody, IgG

Cardiolipin Ab (IgG)

Also known as: Anti-Cardiolipin IgM, Cardiolipin Antibody IgM, Phospholipid Antibody, IgM

Cardiolipin Ab (IgM)

*Process times are an estimate and are not guaranteed. The lab may need additional time due to weather, holidays, confirmation/repeat testing, or equipment maintenance.

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