Background: Pernicious anaemia is an autoimmune disease that causes acquired vitamin B12 deficiency. The diagnostic process includes the detection of typical changes in the blood count, low serum levels of vitamin B12, endoscopic and histological signs of gastritis and autoantibodies against the gastric parietal cells antigen H+/K+ ATPase and intrinsic factor.
Objective: Our aims were to establish immunological tests for the detection of autoantibodies against intrinsic factor and target gastric parietal cell antigen H+/K+ ATPase and to evaluate their diagnostic benefits in patients with pernicious anaemia.
Material and methods: Sera from 95 patients were tested for autoantibodies against H+/K+ ATPase and intrinsic factor by multiplex Luminex assay. The results were compared with those of the immunofluorescence assay for the detection of autoantibodies against gastric parietal cells and with the diagnostic criteria.
Results: The autoantibodies against gastric parietal cell H+/K+ ATPase had a sensitivity of 68.2% with a specificity of 91.7% for the diagnosis of pernicious anaemia. The respective rates for the autoantibodies against intrinsic factor were 40.9% and 98.6%. The combined sensitivity and specificity rates for both autoantibodies were 86.36% and 90.28%, respectively, the combined positive predictive value was 73.08% and the combined negative predictive value was 95.59%.
Conclusion: The detection of both autoantibodies is helpful in diagnosing pernicious anaemia and the combination of the two assays increases diagnostic sensitivity.