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Comparative Study
. 1998 Jul;44(7):178-81.

The Value of the Intrinsic Factor Antibody Test in Diagnosing Pernicious Anaemia

Affiliations
  • PMID: 10028193
Comparative Study

The Value of the Intrinsic Factor Antibody Test in Diagnosing Pernicious Anaemia

C F Ingram et al. Cent Afr J Med. .

Abstract

Objective: Assessment of the usefulness of the intrinsic factor antibody (IF Ab) test in comparison to the Schilling test in diagnosing pernicious anaemia (PA) in patients with vitamin B12 deficiency.

Design: This study was designed to compare the If Ab test to the Schilling test using results obtained of patients presenting with megaloblastic anaemia and low serum vitamin B12 levels to a large referral hospital.

Setting: The Chris Hani Baragwanath Hospital, Soweto, Gauteng, South Africa.

Subjects: Results from 77 patients with megaloblastic anaemia, low serum vitamin B12 levels and with both Schilling and IF Ab test results available were included.

Main outcome measures: The sensitivity and specificity of the IF Ab test was compared to the Schilling test with regard to making a diagnosis of PA in patients presenting with megaloblastic anaemia and low serum vitamin B12 levels.

Results: Relevant statistical analysis showed that in the correct clinical setting, a confident diagnosis of PA could be made without Schilling tests in patients with megaloblastic anaemia, vitamin B12 deficiency and positive IF Ab tests. In a small proportion of patients in whom the IF Ab is negative, Schilling tests still need to be performed.

Conclusion: With the increased concern over rising medical costs and where limited facilities are available, the IF Ab, in the correct clinical setting, is a cost effective and reliable test for diagnosis of PA.

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