The Smooth Muscle Antibody also known as SMA or an actin antibody test is carried out when a person is diagnosed with autoimmune hepatitis. The primary aim of this test is to detect the antibodies that attack the smooth muscles. The attack on this muscle damages the immune system of the body. The autoimmune hepatitis are of two types; type 1 and type 2 respectively. The SMA test helps to differentiate between these two types. SMA test is usually carried out when a person experiences problems with liver. This test further helps to prevent the liver damage and damage to the smooth muscle tissues which in turn will restore the immune system of the patient.
The SMA test requires the patient to submit their blood sample. The test will be carried out in a clinic under professional supervision. The patient has to be physically present to give the blood sample. Health care assistants will draw the blood sample from your arm veins. They will use sharp needle that will be injected into your vein to draw the sample. This process takes maximum of 15-20 minutes to complete and you will only feel like someone pinching while they inject the needle.
A human body is capable of producing antibodies when it detects the harmful viruses and bacteria covered with antigens. This antibody attacks and kills the harmful antigens but sometimes body produces autoantibodies which destroy the healthy cells of our body. In such cases the autoantibodies deteriorate our immune system and results in various diseases. The SMA test is helpful to recognize such autoantibodies and detect autoimmune hepatitis. The test should be carried out when following symptoms are observed: Dark urine, Abdominal swelling, Pale colored stool Enlarged liver.
To conduct the test the clinic will ask you for your blood sample. Before giving the blood sample your doctor might ask you to follow a diet routine few hours before the test. It would be beneficial if you avoid consuming any medication or alcohol the night before the test. Before taking the sample the nurse will wrap an elastic band on your arm tightly. This makes the veins more visible and easier for the nurse to inject the needle and draw the blood sample.