Anti-Smooth Muscle Antibody is a type of blood test. The result of this blood test helps to identify whether a person is affected by an autoimmune disease. Information regarding the test and its results have been provided in the following article.
In the human body, on a non-cellular level, every movement is triggered by muscles. There are three different types of muscles. These include skeletal, cardiac, and smooth muscles. Skeletal muscles help in voluntary movement. Cardiac muscles are found exclusively in the heart. They are involuntary in nature and work ceaselessly throughout our life. The last type of muscle is the smooth muscle, which is also involuntary in nature. These are categorized into multi-unit smooth muscle and visceral smooth muscle.
The former type is composed of cells that can operate independently of one another, whereas the latter are made of cells that work collectively as a single unit. The muscles of the larger blood vessels and the muscles that cause the iris of the eye to dilate or constrict are examples of the former type. The visceral smooth muscles are found in the walls of the visceral (hollow) organs of the body, especially in the walls of the intestines, bladder, and uterus. The ones lining the gut, assist the movement of food in the gut.
Procedure of Test
The body’s immune system identifies any foreign substance/cells and destroys it, so that it does not harm the body. Sometimes, this process goes awry, and the body is unable to differentiate between its own cells and foreign cells. This results in the production of antibodies that target the body’s own cells. Under such circumstances, one is diagnosed with an autoimmune disease. There are certain conditions that can trigger the formation of antibodies. Among them, liver conditions such as liver cirrhosis and hepatitis often figure in the list of causative factors.
In this blood test, the pathologist first zeroes in the area for blood removal. In most cases, it would be the inner part of the elbow. Then, the area is cleaned with an antiseptic. Immediately after this, a needle is inserted to draw blood, which is then placed in an airtight vial, and sent to the laboratory for detecting antibodies in blood. This procedure is similar to an ANA blood test and is used to identify the same antibodies.
Once the required amount of blood has been drawn, then the site of puncture is sealed with a cotton dipped in an antiseptic. The antiseptic prevents the occurrence of any infection. Ideally, this test does not cause any pain, discomfort, reddening, or infection. However, if an individual observes any of these symptoms, then the pathologist needs to be consulted immediately to prevent any further complications.
If antibodies are identified, then it is proved that there is an autoimmune disease, wherein body has been targeting its own smooth muscle cells. In such cases, the person could be affected by liver cirrhosis, hepatitis, infectious mononucleosis or systemic lupus erythematosus. Medical assistance must be sought, as soon as the result confirms presence of antibodies.
Disclaimer: This HealthHearty article is for informative purposes only, and should not be used as a replacement for expert medical advice.