Immunoglobulin A Test

immunogloulin A test

Last Updated July 24th, 2021

What is Immunoglobulin?

Immunoglobulin is the protein produced by plasma cells and leukocytes. Immunoglobulin functions as an antibody. It plays a significant role in the body’s immune system by attaching themselves with foreign substances like harmful bacteria and other microbes and destroying them. Immunoglobulins either reside on the periphery of the cell or it can even more freely in the blood. When circulating in the blood, immunoglobulins are termed as antibodies.
 

What is Immunoglobulin A?

Immunoglobulin A consists of 10%-15% of the total antibodies. It is found mostly in the mucosal area in the gut, saliva, tears, breast milk, respiratory tract and the urogenital tract. It prevents the invasion of pathogens in the body. There are two isotypes of immunoglobulin A:

– IgA1: predominantly found in the serum.
– IgA2: mainly found in secretions.

What is Immunoglobulin A Test?

Immunoglobulin A Test is used to measure and monitor the amount of immunoglobulin A antibodies in the blood. This test is also used for diagnosing autoimmune disorders and cancers. Immunoglobulin A Test is not too specific and hence it cannot determine the exact reasons for the IgA antibody fluctuations in the blood. The Immunoglobulin A Test just assess the content of IgA antibodies in the blood.
 

Why did my doctor suggest me an Immunoglobulin A Test?

Your doctor has suggested you undergo an Immunoglobulin a test for diagnosing the problems regarding the following:

– Immune System
– Intestine
– Kidneys
– Lungs 
– Stomach 
– Sinuses 
 
Your doctor might also ask you to undergo this test to evaluate any auto-immune conditions like:

– Rheumatoid arthritis
– Lupus
Celiac disease

When should I take the immunoglobulin A Test?

If you are going through these conditions as listed below, the Immunoglobulin A test is highly recommended.

– Persistent Diarrhoea
– Unintended weight loss 
– Fevers having no relatable causes
– Skin rashes
– Allergies
– Illness after travelling
– HIV/AIDS or multiple myeloma
– IgA nephropathy symptoms

What are the preparations needed for the Immunoglobulin A Test?

There are no specific preparations needed for conducting this test.

– There is no requirement for fasting.
– There is no addition of any new medication needed.
– The medications which are already in use need no to be stopped.

What is the procedure of the Immunoglobulin A Test?

The Immunoglobulin a test is carried out using a blood sample which is collected by the process of venipuncture. The procedure is as follows:

– A tourniquet is wrapped around the upper arm to make the veins more prominent.

– A syringe or needle is used to draw blood by puncturing the vein.

– The blood is drawn into the tube of the syringe. The tourniquet is unwrapped.

– An antiseptic is applied to the spot of venipuncture to avoid any infection. The spot of injection of the syringe is dabbed by a cotton swab or a bandage is put to stop any further bleeding.

– The blood sample is then sent to the laboratory for the Immunoglobulin A Test test.
 

What is the procedure of the CSF(Cerebrospinal Fluid) test for Immunoglobulin A Test?

The procedure of collection of Cerebrospinal Fluid includes:
 
You will have to lie down on your side with the knees pulled closer to your chest and the chin bent downwards. The CSF can also be collected while you are sitting bent forward.

The practitioner then applies a numbing cream or inject a numbing medicine(anaesthesia) in the lower back of the spinal cord. Once the area on your back is completely numb, a needle or a syringe is injected in between two vertebrae of the spinal cord.

The CSF is collected inside the tube of the syringe. It can take about five minutes. You need to stay still as the cerebrospinal fluid is being withdrawn. As the CSF is collected, the area of the puncture is cleaned and bandaged.

You might be asked to lie down on your back for an hour or two after the CSF(Cerebrospinal Fluid) sample collection. This will help you avoid getting any headache afterwards.
 

Is the Immunoglobulin A Test procedure painful?

There’s no pain associated with the collection of the blood sample. A person might feel a pin pricking sensation for a very brief moment after the test. The pain wears off within a few hours.

What are the risks of Immunoglobulin A Test Test?

There are no risks related to this test. The procedure of blood collection(venipuncture) might have some risks associated with it:

– Some people feel light-headed and dizzy after the blood is drawn.

– It might cause Hematoma (blood accumulating under the skin causing a lump or bruise).

– There might be pain associated with too many punctures for finding a vein.

What are the risks of Immunoglobulin A CSF(Cerebrospinal Fluid) Test?

– Discomfort or pain during the procedure.

– Bleeding into the spinal cord, particularly in people having a low platelet count (thrombocytopenia).

– Headache as a result of CSF leakage.

– Infection.

– Nerve damage
 

What is the price of Immunoglobulin A Test Test in India?

The price of the Immunoglobulin A Test test in India ranges from Rs 1000 – 3000. It can vary with various locations around the country.

When will I get my results?

You will get your Immunoglobulin A Test within 24 to 36 hours of the test itself.

What does my Immunoglobulin A Test test result depict?

The clinical range of the content of the Immunoglobulin A in the blood is elaborated in the table given below.

Age  Clinical range
0-1  0-83 mg/dL
1-3 20-100 mg/dL
4-6 27-195 mg/dL
7-9 34-305 mg/dL
10-11 53-204 mg/dL
12-13 58-358 mg/dL
14-15 47-249 mg/dL
16-19 61-348 mg/dL
Older than 19 years   70-400 mg/dL

According to the age, higher as well as the lower levels of the Immunoglobulin A antibody can lead to many problematic conditions. The abnormal levels of immunoglobulin A antibody can result in a plethora of severe conditions too.

What does it mean if I have a higher level of immunoglobulin A antibody in the blood?

A higher level of immunoglobulin A in the blood indicates the following conditions:

– Allergies
Chronic infections
– An autoimmune disorder like rheumatoid disorder, lupus or celiac disease
– Liver Disease
– Inflammatory Bowel Disease
– Cancer such as lymphoma or leukaemia

What does it mean if I have a lower level of immunoglobulin A antibody?

A lower level of immunoglobulin A in the blood indicates the following:

– Diabetes Complications
– Kidney Disease or Kidney Failure
– HIV/AIDS

If you have higher or lower levels of Immunoglobulin A antibody, that doesn’t necessarily mean you have any of the following issues. You should consult your doctor for a better understanding. The doctor can recommend other tests if required.

How to interpret the CSF(Cerebrospinal Fluid) test result for the Immunoglobulin A Test?

If your CSF IgA index shows abnormal levels, it may indicate the following conditions:

– Infections meningitis
– Haemorrhage or traumatic tap
– Kernicterus
– Meningeal melanosarcoma
– Meningeal melanosarcoma

Is the immunoglobulin A test recommended for pregnant women?

Immunoglobulin A Test is highly suggested to a pregnant woman as a part of the routine checkup to assess the levels of the IgA antibodies in the blood. It monitors if the mother has enough antibodies to protect herself and the fetus from any conditions lead by the abnormal levels of Immunoglobulin A antibodies in the blood.

Is the CSF(Cerebrospinal Fluid) collection for the Immunoglobulin A test safe for the mother and the fetus?

The collection of the CSF(Cerebrospinal Fluid) is completely safe for the mother and the fetus as well at any part of pregnancy. It doesn’t pose any threat of miscarriage.

Is the Immunoglobulin A test safe for newborns?

The Immunoglobulin A Test is totally safe for the newborns since the test involves just the collection of a blood sample. In the case of newborns, the blood is collected by pinpricking the heels.

When are kids recommended to undergo Immunoglobulin A test?

Immunoglobulin A Test is suggested to the kids if the doctor suspects any infections caused by some bacteria or any other microbes. This test is recommended especially for kids having a recurrent infection as well as to diagnose other autoimmune problems.

What are the benefits and the limitations of the Immunoglobulin A Test?

Benefits    Limitations
The Immunoglobulin A Test helps in the assessment of the levels of immunoglobulin A antibody present in the blood. The Immunoglobulin A Test is not a specific test i.e. it doesn’t clearly indicate the causes of the diagnosed problems.
It also helps in the diagnosis of various autoimmune disorders as well as other problematic conditions like infections in Intestine, Kidneys, Lungs, Stomach, Sinuses.The Immunoglobulin A Test assesses the levels of the Immunoglobulin A antibody in the blood. 

 

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