PBC Foundation
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AMA-M2 abnormal

I was found AMA-M2 abnormal in a routine body check in China and from the websites I learned that this will very likely lead to PBC, if not now. Quite don't know what to do next.

I was diagnosed with thyroid cancer 2 year ago when I was 36. I merely recovered from the blew and now here's another one.

Is there anybody who can tell me how your doctors diagnose PBC and if I'm in preliminary stage of PBC is there any treatment to it?

9 Replies


they can diagnose with elevated liver enzymes Alkaline phosphatase (alp), Gamma glutamyltransferase (ggt) and positive AMA. There is no cure but the normal treatment is with a medicine called Ursodeoxycholic (URSO or UDCA) which is a bile acid that helps to disolve the build up of bile in the liver, helping to minimise the damage and slowing down the disease. There are 4 stages and many other things you could find out from contacting the PBC association. Chin up, on the positive side, it is in most cases a slow progressing disease. As my specialist said, it has an ugly name and doesn't mean that you have cirrhosis or that you will end up with it. He also said that liver transplant is not a problem these days. Hope this helps.


Thanks, prades, thanks for your sharing.

I've read many blogs and Q&As these two days and felt better now. In my case this year I got possitive AMA but ALP and GGT are quite normal. GGT, quite confusing, the figure exceeded the limit (around 50% above the limit) in the last two years which I thought was caused by gallstone, but it gets back to normal this time. But I don't have AMA test in past years so there's no comparison.

I was wondering is there any other reason can cause the AMA positive. I had an iodine-131 treatment this June to my thyroid cancer and not know whether this can have some effects on immune system?

Anyway, I still have to go through these things and hope we both have good luck in future.


Hello zhupa.

Prades has explained it as I originally understood it. (I had the AMA test along with the ANA and the AMA gave a positive high titre, the ANA negative. I was diagnosed with PBC Dec 2010 after initially going to see a GP with regards to having a persistent all-over-body random itching. Blood test followed, scan and then the AMA finally.)

The one thing that we can be told (I never have really in-depth by a medic) is that PBC comes in stages. Well I have to say that in my opinion I will continue to ignore this. Apparently liver biopsies are said to stage the progression but I disagree now with on-going blood work.

I just feel that I will go with the flow so-to-speak as at the end of the day nothing at present can be done regardless of how it is progressing whether it be very slow, a bit faster or even for all I know may enter a remissive state as it is possible in some cases. I know I'll never be rid of the itch even if I came to a halt with PBC due to damage that has already started so I shall be continuing to just get by and living life to the best that I can.

Not sure if you have been prescribed Urso but I expect with your bloods at some point you may as if you have been declined one with PBC then blood monitoring is the norm.

If you have no symptons like the 'dreaded itch' currently then crack on with enjoying your life. I know if someone was to come along tomorrow with something to just rid it for definite (know certain medications for it can be 'hit and miss') then I'd take it and not bother how things were progressing. (ON that note, not been bad last night with the itch after having several prior so it's not all bad for me at present as that is all I do tend to have with this PBC at present, the on/off itch.)


Thanks, peridot. Appreciate very much your attitude to PBC.

I have no symptons right now but it's quite scary to read all you guys problems, to think that I may have those one day in future!

I have been worried a lot since the thyroid cancer. I'm single, my dad died in 97 in a traffic accident and my mom did not remarry after that. My mom and I are quite dependent on each other so if I die before her, I'm afraid this will destroy her totally.


Hi zhupa

I have a positive AMA, but normal liver tests! I have been told that I am predisposed to get PBC!!

It's very frustrating not knowing!

I am waiting to see my consultant again regarding the AMA found in my blood.

Try not to worry about it, the worrying can sometimes be worse than the condition itself. I will let you know what he says, when I get the appointment which could take months, here in the UK. It's not unusual to wait for upto 5 months!!

I hope this helps honey xxx


Dear skywalker

These days I've been fed up with lots of confusing and sometime contradicted information. This really makes me sick.

Please do let me know your progress.

I myself is going to see doctors. I'm now working in Hong Kong, but my family is still in Beijing so I'm planning to see doctors in both cities. But since there's no cure to the disease, probably I'll try traditional Chinese medcine to see if it can help anyway.

The medical system in HK and China are so different, but what in common is that finding a right doctor seems all very difficult.

Hope we all have good luck.



Hi, skywalker

I went to see a specialist in Gastroenterology & Hepatology this morning. The doctor asked me to do one more AMA and LFT test, ultrasonic and liver fibroscan. He said after he sees these results will then discuss further treatment with me.

He mentioned he had a dozen of patients who also had normal LFT with AMA positive, and some turned to negative and some kept positive but have no symptom and some's LFT became abnormal after several years. He also said that there're probably many people in community who have AMA positive but they just didn't have the AMA test.

Although still worried, I felt a little bit at ease now. I will wait for the results, see what the doctor may say and get back to you then.


Can anybody help me, my AMA was 291 in my last blood test, what does that mean because the doctors dont seem to tell me.



My next tests showed strong AMA and M2. I have now been diagnosed with PBC because of clinical symptoms. How are you doing zhupa?



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