What does equivocal mean: I'm 52 years old... - PBC Foundation

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What does equivocal mean


I'm 52 years old and went in for my yearly physical and found out that my alkaline phosphates was 237 so I took the anti mitochondrial antibody and that came back equivocal. I don't have any signs and not in any pain. I don't know what's going on and now my doctor has referred me to a liver specialist because he said my test was abnormal. Do anyone have any suggestions for me especially on what equivocal means? It was 24.6 and a positive test is 24.9.

3 Replies

Based on what you wrote regarding the antibody test result, equivocal means it is not definitive as 24.6 is not positive, but close enough to almost be positive. So in those cases, they would want additional testing.

Your alk phos is high which indicates liver inflammation or injury which is why your doctor is referring you to a hepatologist or liver specialist.

Your doctor should forward your medical history & any relevant tests results to the hepatologist so that he/she can figure out what is the underlying cause of the abnormal alk phos. He/she will most likely run additional blood work to rule things out. If the blood work can’t provide enough evidence for any one condition, the hepatologist may ask for a liver biopsy to help diagnosis.

This was how I was diagnosed with pbc. It is great that you feel well. Whatever it is, it is probably in an early stage & it will be easier to treat as there is probably no damage at this point.

Try not to worry. The doctors will follow the proper scientific protocol to get to the bottom of this & treat you accordingly. The bright side is that you are taking care of this early.

Hi keepin15, ninjagirl has given you good advice. Equivocal in a medical context just means inconclusive, often indicating the need for additional testing. With AMA tests most labs reference a narrow range of borderline results that fall in-between a clear negative and a clear positive. Some doctors will just wait a few months and retest, while others recommend further investigation at this stage as yours did. Your doctor’s approach seems very reasonable in the context of your elevated ALP. The hepatologist will likely run additional blood work and may order an ultrasound, fibroscan, or liver biopsy. Best of luck to you and please let us know how it goes. 🍀

Sounds like you have pbc

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