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PBC Foundation
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AMAs in blood no other tests show it

I posted a few weeks ago and received reassuring replies. I wanted to post again to see if anyone had

anymore information for me.

I am in Virginia, USA

I had AMAs in blood. My alt and ast

were a little high in July because of drinking. On Sept. 12th everything

was in the normal range; alt, ast,

alp all normal, bilirubin normal,

cholesterol has always been good.

I had an ultrasound in August

and I had some fatty liver but there

was no pathology for gallbladder/

biliary. I saw a nurse practitioner

at the GI dr on Sept. 22nd.

She and the dr said that they

wanted me to have follow-up

bloodwork for AMAs, ANAs,

and other things like IGM I believe

in a month from Sept. 22nd.

Well, I had a sore throat virus

and was told to wait to do the

bloodwork because a virus can

alter the results. So, here I am

waiting. I have had a great loss of sleep and anxiety ; it is better

because of prayer and I believe

that God healed me of the horrible

anxiety cycle that I had gotten my

body into. I just want any information

to reassure me a little about AMAs

but no other indications for PBC.

If I had normal LFTs on Sept.. 12th

it would still be normal now I would

think. Some of the test are new that they will be doing.

Anyway, I need to get this resolved.

Thank you!

10 Replies

I'm pretty sure there are 3 indicators for PBC and you need 2 of the 3 to be diagnosed. If this is wrong, I'm sure someone more knowledgeable will be along shortly. One indicator is the AMA. One has to do with elevated LET. The third one is that it shows on a biopsy. I believe that is correct. You can search on here for more information though. I just did not want you to go a long time with no response.

Hopefully someone else will be along soon.

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I’m not super knowledgeable but when Internist read my AMA, they diagnosed on that & pretty sure the Alk Phos as well

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my ALP has always been normal.


That’s a good thing🤗

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I know! I was Judy trying to see if anyone had any research on this

situation while I am waiting to do

follow-up bloodwork.

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Thank you!

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Thank you !

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A liver biopsy would confirm and rule out other liver disease ask for one .


AMAs alone are not enough to formally / officially diagnose PBC.

The presence of AMAs (sub-type M2) are one of the indicators of PBC, but more relevant positive tests are needed for a formal diagnosis, as some people just 'have' AMAs.

(I do, have had since they were noted in 1992, and I don't have PBC - as confirmed by one of the UK's leading PBC consultants, after a local liver chap had tried to suggest I had PBC. Apart from getting a bit older and odd normal general issues, I am in good health and don't have PBC.)

If they have checked your liver function tests, and they are fine, then you could ask for a biopsy. This is the third line of diagnosis for PBC (usually people are diagnosed with PBC because of AMAs and abnormal liver functions tests (lfts) that are typical of PBC - it has to be both. AMAs alone are not enough and if lfts were abnormal they would probably do a biopsy.

However, they should be ruling out all other possible autoimmune conditions, especially those related to the other subtypes of AMA, and also checking for all liver conditions, and doing full blood panels to check that everything has been covered.

I hope this helps, but do talk to the advisors at the 'PBC Foundation' (link at top of page), as they will be able to help and direct you to their recent publication about the official guidelines for the diagnosis of PBC.

Take care

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Thank you very much.

I have had to wait on the follow-up bloodwork

for the auto immune

and Igm and other tests

for weeks.


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