Your immune system produces antibodies to attack infections, mutations, bacteria, viruses and other foreign bodies. Threats to vital organs which contain smooth muscle, like your gastrointestinal system or your arteries, must be detected and contained to prevent system-wide disease.
Blood tests are performed to diagnose disease and the costs of these tests may vary. The anti-smooth muscle antibody test cost ranges from 200-750. Having this test is worth it because detecting antibodies in your blood will help your physician treat your medical problems. Antibodies are found in blood. They seek out infections, mutations, bacteria, viruses and other foreign bodies to aid the immune system in identifying and destroying these harmful elements. Anti-bodies in smooth muscle indicate disease states in vital organs like the bladder, uterus and your gastrointestinal tract. These organs and lymphatic vessels, veins, and arteries is under the control of the autonomic nervous system.
Smooth Muscle Threats
Different in structure and function than skeletal muscle, smooth muscle has fine control of movement, contracts and relaxes, signals other cells and conducts hormones. Antibodies present in blood indicates dysfunction of smooth muscle. Because of the vital nature of the organs smooth muscle is present in, and the interrelated function of organs, veins and arteries, treating these dysfunctions can mean a systemic success or failure in many organs and bodily processes. Anti-smooth muscle antibodies (ASMA) or immunoglobulins can be a symptom of:
- chronic autoimmune hepatitis
- respiratory tract
- auto-immune disorder
- bladder or reproductive tract
A simple blood test is all that is required to test for antibodies to smooth muscle. Your doctor will refer you to a laboratory which draws blood, your physician may have a blood drawn in his office, or you may be at the hospital when the test is ordered. The nurse or technician will look at the veins inside your arm, near the inside of your elbow or down near your hands and determine which vein looks the best to puncture and take a sample. He or she will disinfect the area, tighten a rubber band above the area to make the vein swell and insert a small needle. The needle will have a tube attached which will lead to a blood vial. The blood is collected and the needle withdrawn. The blood sample is usually sent to a lab for results.
What do the Results Mean
A negative result for antibodies means that there are no antibodies present and no sign of disease. The presence of antibodies is a positive result and may mean that one or more of the above listed conditions is present. The physician must perform more tests, or based on his physical findings and your history, may be able to diagnose, treat and possibly cure your condition.
- 19 Units or less: Negative
- 20-30 Units: Weak Positive - Suggest repeat testing in two to three weeks with fresh specimen.
- 31 Units or greater: Positive - Suggestive of autoimmune hepatitis or chronic active hepatitis.
Costs From a Vendor to a Lab
The anti-smooth muscle antibody test cost compared with three vendors is $200/350/700. Costs will vary according to the quality, sensitivity and variation of the test. Keep in mind, that these prices are charged by the manufacturer to the end user, the blood laboratory. You can expect to pay more in total, for labor and processing, if you do not have insurance. If you do have insurance, you may pay a reduced cost or nothing at all.