Antiparietal Cells Antibodies

Definition

An antiparietal cells antibodies test is a blood test that looks for antibodies against the parietal cells of the stomach. The parietal cells make and release a substance that the body needs to absorb vitamin B12.

Alternative Names

APCA; Anti-gastric parietal cell antibodies

How the test is performed

A blood sample is needed. For information on how this is done, see: Venipuncture

How to prepare for the test

No special preparation is necessary.

Why the test is performed

Your health care provider may use this test to help diagnose pernicious anemia. Other tests are also used to help with the diagnosis.

Normal Values

A negative result is normal.

What abnormal results mean

A positive test result is abnormal. This may be due to:

  • Atrophic gastritis
  • Diabetes
  • Gastric ulcer
  • Pernicious anemia
  • Thyroid disease

What the risks are

Veins and arteries vary in size from one patient to another and from one side of the body to the other. Obtaining a blood sample from some people may be more difficult than from others.

Other risks associated with having blood drawn are slight but may include:

  • Excessive bleeding
  • Fainting or feeling light-headed
  • Hematoma (blood accumulating under the skin)
  • Infection (a slight risk any time the skin is broken)

References

Antony AC. Megaloblastic anemias. In: Goldman L, Ausiello D, eds. Cecil Medicine. 23rd ed. Philadelphia, Pa: Saunders Elsevier; 2007:chap 170.

Review Date: 2/5/2012

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