Does this test have other names?
AMA, anti-cardiac muscle antibody
What is this test?
This test measures how many antimyocardial antibodies (AMAs) are in your blood. AMAs are a sign of heart damage. Higher levels are linked to several forms of heart disease. They can be found in the blood before you have any symptoms of heart disease.
Why do I need this test?
Having these antibodies can be a sign of swelling of the membrane around your heart (pericarditis). Some people also develop AMAs after heart surgery or a heart attack. After a heart attack, your body may make antibodies against the heart protein troponin. This can slow healing. Research is currently being done on how to prevent this.
You might also have an AMA test done if your healthcare provider thinks you have rheumatic heart disease. This disease can develop as a complication of rheumatic fever.
AMAs have also been found in people with diagnosed heart disease. Healthcare providers don't know how these antibodies affect the disease getting worse.
What other tests might I have along with this test?
No other tests are usually done with the AMA test. But AMAs can also be found in people with streptococcal infections, so your provider may also want to do a strep screen. This is done by swabbing your throat.
What do my test results mean?
A result for a lab test may be affected by many things, including the method the lab uses to do the test. Even if your test results are different from the normal value, you may not have a problem. To learn what the results mean for you, talk with your healthcare provider.
A normal test will be negative, meaning you have no or low levels of AMAs.
If your test shows elevated AMA levels, you likely have heart disease or heart damage. You will need more testing.
How is this test done?
The test requires a blood sample, which is drawn through a needle from a vein in your arm.
Does this test pose any risks?
Taking a blood sample with a needle carries risks that include bleeding, infection, bruising, or feeling dizzy. When the needle pricks your arm, you may feel a slight stinging sensation or pain. Afterward, the site may be slightly sore.
What might affect my test results?
No outside factors are known to affect the results of this test.
How do I get ready for this test?
You don't need to prepare for this test.