PBC Foundation

Can a 'weakly-positive' result of 0.9 become positive?

Trying to keep this short... query ref AMAs and PBC, please.

I have been complaining of various symptoms for a few years. Was initially told possibly Post Viral Fatigue/CFS. Later diagnosed pernicious anemia for which I now get B12 injections, and POT syndrome. ESR and CRP levels consistently elevated, plus MCV, RBC count, total white cell count and Lymphocyte count a little out of range. Also lab flagged up 'elevated alpha bands, query acute reaction' but I do not know what this means!

None of this has really been explained and I continue to feel unwell.

Looking at some old blood tests I noticed M2 mitochondrial an (EIA) lev (c) tested over a year ago. The result was 0.9, which I gather is the high end of 'weakly-positive' - I did what all good GPs hate and googled it!? I suppose that as my GP did not bring this result up, he is not concerned. Should I take comfort from this, or can the result start to fall into the positive band after a while, in which case, should I ask to be re-tested? The screening was repeated 5 times over a year, but the M2 mitochondrian part of the test was carried out just once and not repeated along with other parts so I can not see any increase/decrease in the result. I could not find info about this online anywhere and wondered if anybody here had experience or knowledge of this scenario.

Thank you very much for reading my question - I have more info if it is relevant but did not want to burden you more than necessary!

3 Replies

Hello SESuk.

Well as you know our replies are our opinions, some is what we know, some are theories and in some cases as in mine, they can then throw up a whole new set of questions to quiz a doctor with.

I personally find that doctors do not give enough information to patients. I could have been saved 13 weeks back in 2010 of worrying about the first hospital appointment had my GP informed me the final blood check he did and in his view, exhausted all he could do was not the AMA but the one for copper (for Wilsons Disease - was negative, had to ask the hospital consultant) I would have felt at ease more knowing that this AMA one would come at the hospital. (I had that on my first hospital consultation. It was positive with 'a high titre'.)

The one thing that stood out in your question was the fact that if you had what you state a 'weak AMA result' then I would expect the LFTs and also the GGT to be undertaken and monitored. If you have rising LFTs and a GGT on a continual basis then I would expect to have either further testing or see an hospital consultant and take it from there. But also, there can be other explanations for rising LFTs. I know when I had elevated LFTs back in 2010 the GP then undertook a blood test which rules out whether the problem could be liver or bone related as elevated LFTs are also found in bone conditions. Mine obviously came back stating it was in the liver area.

White blood cell count can be sign of infection and in my case haemoglobin (HB) that is low can state that you might have anaemia for one so further blood checks on ferritin levels are required. Also low HB can signal low in Vit B12 or folate. I had a short course of iron tablets later last year for what came back as a normal ferritin but it was on the low range so GP reckoned a short course.

Perhaps you should jot some things down, return to your GP and ask what he/she thinks of all the results you have had so far and go from there.

Also when I was attempting to find out the range for the AMAs I failed to do so, online and in ref books. My GP only has the same result from the hospital consultant that I have, "high titre" as I have a copy of the letter he received from the hospital consultant (which is a lot more informative than the one the consultant sent me of course at a later date after the GP informed me I had PBC). To me I have no worries over the AMAs. They can fluctuate apparently but I know now 3yrs on that I definitely must have PBC as I was informed (you do go through periods of feeling top class and start to doubt) and regardless of the AMAs for me I'll always have PBC.

Please keep us all updated in how you are progressing.


Thank you for taking the time to reply to me, I really appreciate your thoughts. Having moved house I am between GPs but have just registered with a new one nearby. I will discuss the test results and see if he has any insights. I will let you know since you took the trouble to get in touch :)

I hope you are doing OK with your diagnosis

Kind regards, S


My AMA M2 is 0.8 and before that my AMA was weak at 1/160 and it looks like I'm positive. It showed in elevated enzymes as well as a very sloppy handled liver biopsy. My liver biopsy is getting a second opinion but my alp was 1/160 with high alp. 1/20 is positive. I'm even a weaker positive the second test.


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