Welcome to the Exeter Clinical Laboratory International website
NHS logo

Intrinsic Factor Antibodies

Blood Sciences Test



Special Instructions

Minimum sample volume: 3 ml

Test Usage

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.

Turnaround time

7 days


In house

Factors Affecting Results

Lipemic, haemolysed or microbially contaminated samples may give poor results and should not be used.

Reference Ranges

  • Negative : ≤10.0 U/mL
  • Positive:    >10.0 U/mL


Please note this test is not UKAS accredited

Clinical Advice

Clinical advice is available from the Immunology Medical Team at Derriford Hospital

T: 01752 431675

E: plh-tr.eden@nhs.net


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
University of Exeter logo
UKAS Medical logo


Royal Devon University Healthcare logo