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).
Laboratory test results are the most important parameter for the diagnosis and monitoring of all pathological conditions. 70%-80% of diagnostic decisions are based on laboratory tests. Correct interpretation of laboratory results allows a doctor to distinguish "healthy" from "diseased".
Laboratory test results should not be interpreted from the numerical result of a single analysis. Test results should be interpreted in relation to each individual case and family history, clinical findings and the results of other laboratory tests and information. Your personal physician should explain the importance of your test results.
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