Liver Kidney Microsomal (LKM-1) Antibody (IgG)

The Liver Kidney Microsomal (LKM-1) Antibody (IgG) test contains 1 test with 1 biomarker.

Brief Description: The Liver Kidney Microsomal (LKM) IgG Antibody test is a blood test that detects the presence of antibodies against specific components, primarily located within the cells of the liver and kidney. These antibodies are autoantibodies, meaning they target and can potentially harm the body's own cells.

Collection Method: Blood Draw

Specimen Type: Serum

Test Preparation: No preparation required

When and Why a Liver Kidney Microsomal IgG Antibody Test May Be Ordered

The test may be ordered when an individual presents with signs or symptoms of liver damage or autoimmune liver disease, such as:

  1. Fatigue or weakness
  2. Yellowing of the skin or eyes (jaundice)
  3. Dark urine
  4. Abdominal pain or swelling
  5. Loss of appetite or unexplained weight loss
  6. Nausea or vomiting

It is particularly ordered when a healthcare provider suspects Type 2 Autoimmune Hepatitis, as LKM antibodies are often found in this condition.

What a Liver Kidney Microsomal IgG Antibody Test Checks For

The Liver Kidney Microsomal IgG Antibody test checks for the presence of these specific autoantibodies in the blood. The presence of these antibodies may indicate an autoimmune disorder affecting the liver.

Other Lab Tests Ordered Alongside a Liver Kidney Microsomal IgG Antibody Test

To get a comprehensive understanding of liver function and potential damage, other tests may be ordered alongside the LKM IgG Antibody test:

  1. Liver Function Tests (LFTs): These measure the levels of specific enzymes and proteins in the blood, helping to determine how well the liver is working.
  2. Smooth Muscle Antibody (SMA) Test: This test detects another type of autoantibody associated with autoimmune hepatitis.
  3. Antinuclear Antibody (ANA) Test: Measures the amount and pattern of antibodies that work against the body's nuclear cells.
  4. Liver Biopsy: A tissue sample from the liver may be taken to directly assess any damage or inflammation.

Conditions or Diseases Requiring a Liver Kidney Microsomal IgG Antibody Test

  1. Type 2 Autoimmune Hepatitis: This is the primary condition associated with LKM antibodies. Autoimmune hepatitis is when the body's immune system mistakenly targets and damages the liver.
  2. Chronic Hepatitis: Persistent inflammation of the liver which can be due to many causes, including autoimmune responses.

How Health Care Providers Use the Results of a Liver Kidney Microsomal IgG Antibody Test

The presence of Liver Kidney Microsomal antibodies in the blood can provide a strong indication of Type 2 Autoimmune Hepatitis. If the test results are positive:

  1. Confirmation: Along with clinical symptoms and other laboratory results, a positive LKM IgG antibody test can confirm a diagnosis of Type 2 Autoimmune Hepatitis.
  2. Treatment Decisions: Results can guide treatment decisions, such as the introduction of medications that suppress the immune system.
  3. Monitoring: The test can also be used to monitor the effectiveness of treatment and to detect potential relapses.

A negative test doesn't rule out liver disease but may point the healthcare provider to consider other potential causes of liver dysfunction. As with all diagnostic tests, results are interpreted in the context of the patient's clinical presentation and other laboratory findings.

Most Common Questions About the Liver Kidney Microsomal (LKM-1) Antibody (IgG) test:

Purpose and Clinical Indications

Why is the Liver Kidney Microsomal IgG Antibody test ordered?

The Liver Kidney Microsomal IgG Antibody test is primarily ordered to help diagnose autoimmune hepatitis type 2 (AIH type 2), a type of liver inflammation caused by the immune system attacking the liver. This test helps to differentiate AIH type 2 from other types of liver disorders and helps to guide treatment decisions.

How does the Liver Kidney Microsomal IgG Antibody test differ from other liver tests?

The Liver Kidney Microsomal IgG Antibody test specifically identifies antibodies against liver and kidney microsomes, which are indicative of AIH type 2. Other liver tests might measure liver enzymes, proteins, or other antibodies to assess liver function or diagnose different liver conditions. This test is more specific for an autoimmune cause of liver inflammation.

Interpretation of Results

What do positive results in the Liver Kidney Microsomal IgG Antibody test indicate?

A positive result indicates the presence of antibodies against liver and kidney microsomes in the blood. This is typically associated with AIH type 2. However, a positive result should be interpreted in conjunction with other clinical findings, lab tests, and patient history.

Can a person have AIH type 2 with a negative Liver Kidney Microsomal IgG Antibody test?

While the Liver Kidney Microsomal IgG Antibody test is a useful tool for diagnosing AIH type 2, a negative result does not completely rule out the disease. Other diagnostic tests and clinical evaluations are necessary to confirm or rule out the diagnosis.

Clinical Implications

How do the results of the Liver Kidney Microsomal IgG Antibody test influence clinical management?

Positive results can confirm the diagnosis of AIH type 2, leading to specific treatments such as immunosuppressive therapy. It can also help physicians differentiate between AIH type 2 and other types of liver disease, ensuring appropriate treatment and monitoring.

What other tests might be ordered alongside the Liver Kidney Microsomal IgG Antibody test?

The Liver Kidney Microsomal IgG Antibody test might be ordered alongside other tests, including liver function tests (such as ALT, AST, ALP, and bilirubin), other antibody tests (like antinuclear antibodies or smooth muscle antibodies), and imaging tests, to get a comprehensive view of liver health and function.

Relationships with Other Health Conditions

Are there other conditions that might produce a positive Liver Kidney Microsomal IgG Antibody test result?

Yes, while AIH type 2 is the most common condition associated with positive results, other diseases, such as certain drug reactions or viral infections, might produce a positive result. However, these are less common, and the presence of these antibodies is highly suggestive of AIH type 2.

How does AIH type 2, indicated by a positive Liver Kidney Microsomal IgG Antibody test, relate to other types of autoimmune hepatitis?

AIH type 2 is just one subtype of autoimmune hepatitis. The presence of liver kidney microsomal antibodies differentiates it from AIH type 1, which is associated with antinuclear antibodies (ANA) and smooth muscle antibodies (SMA). The two types have different clinical presentations, and their management might differ slightly, making the differentiation important.

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: Liver Kidney Microsome Lkm1 Ab IgG

Lkm-1 Antibody (IgG)

*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.

Customer Reviews