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Cardiolipin Antibody IgA

Also Known As: Anticardiolipin Antibodies, ACL Antibody, ACA, Cardiolip, CA, Antiphospholipids, Cardiolipin Antibody IgA

What Is A Cardiolipin Antibody (IgA) Test?

The Cardiolipin Antibodies (IgA, IgG, IgM) help investigate excessive blood clot formation and the causes of recurrent miscarriages. It is also performed to evaluate antiphospholipid syndrome and other autoimmune diseases.  

Cardiolipin is a key component found in the structure of Mitochondria. Sometimes the body starts producing antibodies that erroneously attack this compound. In other words, Cardiolipin antibodies are another type of autoantibodies produced by your immune system. These antibodies can target your body's healthy Cardiolipin present in the outermost layer of platelets and cells. Cardiolipin can impact your body's ability to regulate normal blood clotting in a manner that is by no means expected. These antibodies are also associated with an increased risk of developing excessive blood clots in veins or arteries and recurrent miscarriages, especially during the second and third trimesters.

The Cardiolipin antibodies are, also known as anticardiolipin antibodies, are also linked with a wide range of health conditions like syphilis, antiphospholipid syndrome, Behcet's disease, and systemic lupus erythematosus.

What Is The Test Used For?

A Cardiolipin Antibody test help detect Cardiolipin antibodies in the blood. The test procedure requires a small amount of blood sample usually collected from a vein in the arm. It is generally performed if you are experiencing symptoms like unexplained blood clots, any autoimmune disease symptoms, and recurrent miscarriages. There are actually three types of Cardiolipin antibodies, i.e., IgG, IgA, and IgM. The most commonly tested ones are IgG and IgM, as many researchers and studies indicate that they are more strongly associated with autoimmune disorders. IgA can also be tested if your test results for the other two types are negative, but your health care provider is still suspecting the involvement of Cardiolipin antibodies.

It is also important to mention that Cardiolipin antibodies can be transient, which means they are detectable only at one point and not later on. If you test positive for Cardiolipin antibodies with an initial test, your doctor will perform another test to confirm the persistency of the antibodies.

Why And When Do You Need A Cardiolipin Antibody (IgA) Test?

Your doctor, physician, or health care provider can typically order this test as a part of an excessive blood clotting workup, especially if you have symptoms suggestive of thrombotic episodes. The sign and symptoms may vary from person to person, depending on the location of the blood clot. If you are clouds are present deep in the veins of the legs, it will be termed DVT or deep vein thrombosis. The sign and symptoms of which include the following:

  • Discoloration of the leg
  • Tenderness and pain in the legs ( the swelling and pain usually only affect one leg)
  • Leg swelling or leg edema
  • A feeling of warmth in the affected leg

If the blood clots affect your lungs, the condition is called pulmonary embolism. In this condition, you can experience the following signs and symptoms:

  • Sudden shortness of breath ( the most common symptom)
  • Chest pain that usually gets worse with breathing
  • Feeling anxious all the time
  • A feeling of dizziness, lightheadedness, and fainting
  • Palpitations or heart racing
  • Irregular heartbeats
  • Sweating and low blood pressure
  • Coughing up blood

The doctor can also order this test if you are a woman with a history of recurrent miscarriages. 

They can order it along with the lupus anticoagulant test as a follow-up procedure to a prolonged PTT test. When they detect the presence of Cardiolipin antibodies, the test is often repeated after a few weeks to determine whether those antibodies are persistent or temporary. You may also become eligible for the test with evident signs and symptoms of an autoimmune disorder with a positive ANA test result.

What Kind Of Sample Is Required For The Test?

A doctor, nurse, or lab technician will take a blood sample from your arm or hand to carry out the test. First, they will clean the area and then look for a suitable vein. The medical professional will use a needle to draw a blood sample from the site, which they will then send to a laboratory for further testing.

Do You Need To Prepare For The Test?

No special preparation is required for the test. Just like any other standard blood test, you can eat or drink as usual. However, it is very important to discuss the list of your ongoing medications, vitamins, and supplements with a doctor to ensure the test results are as accurate as possible.

Are There Any Risks To This Test?

The risks of having this test are extremely low, but some complications may occur, including:

  • Feeling lightheaded
  • Fainting
  • Vein punctures due to trouble finding a suitable vein
  • Extreme bleeding
  • Infection at the puncture site

What Do The Test Results Mean?

The normal ranges can vary between laboratories due to the differences in their techniques, chemicals, and equipment used for the process. If your results are not close to the normal range, it does not necessarily mean that you have a medical condition. However, normal test results are also not indicative of any particular disease. After receiving the results, it is better to talk with your doctor to learn more about your diagnosis. 

The test results for Cardiolipin Antibodies (IgA, IgG, IgM) are either positive or negative. A higher concentration of antibodies may demonstrate the presence of an autoimmune disorder. Negative test results mean no Cardiolipin antibodies were detected in your bloodstream. But remember that the antibodies take some time to develop in people with autoimmune conditions. On the other hand, a positive result means that Cardiolipin antibodies were present in the blood. As mentioned earlier, it can indicate several diseases like systemic lupus erythematosus, syphilis, and antiphospholipid syndrome.

The test is frequently performed in patients with unexplained blood clots and recurrent miscarriages. It is because certain autoimmune conditions can modify your blood's ability to clot, which ultimately leads to thrombosis and severe pregnancy complications. Nevertheless, the doctor may perform some other tests to confirm the diagnosis of any disorder.

Related Tests: Antiphospholipid Antibodies Test, Beta-2 Glycoprotein 1 Antibodies Test, Autoantibodies; Lupus Anticoagulant Testing

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