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Islet Cell Antibodies (ICA), Serum

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Antibody control against islet cells of the pancreas is used in the differential diagnosis of type 1 diabetes by type 2 diabetes, in identifying individuals at risk for type 1 diabetes (including relatives of patients with diabetes) and in predicting the need for treatment with insulin in patients with adult diabetes.

Autoantibodies against islet cells of the pancreas have been known to be associated with type 1 diabetes mellitus. In recent years, several autoantigens have been identified against which islets are directed against islet cells. These include islet 2 antigen (IA-2) associated with tyrosine phosphatase, glutamic acid decarboxylase 65 (GAD65), zinc transporter ZnT8, and insulin. One or more of these autoantibodies are detected in 96% of patients with type 1 diabetes and are detectable before the onset of clinical symptoms, as well as in symptomatic individuals.

IA-2 antibodies have a sensitivity of 57% and a specificity of 99% for the laboratory diagnosis of type 1 diabetes. Autoantibodies in patients who are going to develop type 1 diabetes are usually detectable before the age of 3 years. Some patients with type 1 diabetes are initially diagnosed as having type 2 diabetes because of the symptoms of adulthood, obesity, and initial insulin independence. These patients with adult autoimmune diabetes mellitus can be distinguished from patients with type 2 diabetes by detecting one or more autoantibodies against islets of the pancreas (including IA-2).



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