Minimum sample volume: 3 ml
Pernicious anaemia is an autoimmune atrophic gastritis, predominantly of the fundus, and is responsible for a deficiency in vitamin B12 due to its malabsorption. Its prevalence is 0.1% in the general population and 1.9% in subjects over the age of 60 years. Pernicious anaemia represents 20%–50% of the causes of vitamin B12 deficiency in adults. Anti-intrinsic factor antibodies do not appear to have a clearly defined pathogenic role in the development of gastritis. By contrast, they have a well-documented role in the onset of pernicious anaemia, via the vitamin B12 deficiency they induce. The finding of a low vitamin B12 level may be further evaluated by testing for anti-intrinsic factor antibodies. If positive, the antibodies have a high positive predictive value (95%) for the presence of pernicious anaemia with a concurrent low false positive rate (1–2%) i.e. a high specificity. It identifies those patients with a need for lifelong vitamin B12 replacement therapy.
Lipemic, haemolysed or microbially contaminated samples may give poor results and should not be used.
Please note this test is not UKAS accredited
Clinical advice is available from the Immunology Medical Team at Derriford Hospital
T: 01752 431675
Andres E, Serraj K (2012). Optimal management of pernicious anemia. Journal of Blood Medicine 2012:3
Devalia V et al. (2014). Guidelines for the diagnosis and treatment of cobalamin and folate disorders. Br J Haematol. 2014 Aug;166(4):496-513.Specimen Labelling Procedure