What is this Test?
This test measures how many antimyocardial antibodies (AMAs) or anti-cardiac muscle antibody are in the blood. AMAs are a sign of heart damage. Higher levels are linked to several forms of heart disease. They can be found in the blood before you have any symptoms of heart disease.
Why is this Test Needed?
Some people develop AMAs after heart surgery or a heart attack. Having these antibodies can be a sign of pericarditis, or a swelling of the membrane around the heart.
AMA test may also be done in case of rheumatic heart disease. This disease can develop as a complication of rheumatic fever. AMAs have also been found in people with diagnosed heart disease, but it's not known how these antibodies affect the disease's progression.
No other tests are usually done with the AMA test. But because AMAs can also be found in people with streptococcal infections, one may be advised a streptococcal screen - a test done by swabbing the throat.
What does Test results mean?
A result for a lab test may be affected by many things, including the method the lab uses to do the test. Even if the test results are different from the normal value, you may not have a problem. To learn what the results mean for you, talk with your health care provider.
If test shows elevated AMA levels, heart disease or heart damage is likely. It will need more confirmatory tests.
How is this test done?
The test requires a blood sample, which is drawn through a needle from a vein in the arm. Taking a blood sample with a needle carries risks that include bleeding, infection, bruising, or feeling dizzy. When the needle pricks your arm, you may feel a slight stinging sensation or pain. Afterward, the site may be slightly sore.
No outside factors are known to affect the results of this test.