Diseases & Conditions

Anti-Acetylcholine Receptor Antibody - Acetylcholine Receptor Antibody


Overview & Description

This test determines the amount of edrophonium in a person's body. Edrophonium is a molecule that stimulates muscle contractions.

Who is a candidate for the test?

The acetylcholine receptor antibody test is used to diagnose myasthenia gravis, a condition in which the muscles become tired and weak. It is also used to monitor reponse to therapy for myasthenia gravis.

How is the test performed?

A small puncture is made on the fingertip using a sharp needle. The finger is gently squeezed to obtain a drop of blood. The blood is placed on specially-treated paper that can detect antibodies to acetylcholine receptors in the blood.


Preparation & Expectations

What is involved in preparation for the test?

A healthcare provider can provide specific instructions.


Results and Values

What do the test results mean?

In normal people, no acetylcholine receptor antibodies are present in the blood. The presence of more than .05 nM (nanomoles) of acetylcholine receptors in the blood indicates the person may have myasthenia gravis. Rarely, it can indicate amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, also called Lou Gehrig's disease.


Attribution

Author:David T. Moran, MD
Date Written:
Editor:Smith, Elizabeth, BA
Edit Date:04/12/00
Reviewer:Gail Hendrickson, RN, BS
Date Reviewed:09/20/01