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Anti-glomerular basement membrane blood test

GBM antibody test; Antibody to human glomerular basement membrane; Anti-GBM antibodies

The glomerular basement membrane is the part of the kidney that helps filter waste and extra fluid from the blood.

Anti-glomerular basement membrane antibodies are antibodies against this membrane. They can lead to kidney damage. This article describes the blood test to detect these antibodies.

How the Test is Performed

A blood sample is needed.

How to Prepare for the Test

No special preparation is necessary.

How the Test will Feel

When the needle is inserted to draw blood, some people feel moderate pain, while others feel only a prick or stinging. Afterward, there may be some throbbing or a slight bruise. This soon goes away.

Why the Test is Performed

This test is used to diagnose certain kidney diseases, such as Goodpasture syndrome and anti-glomerular basement membrane disease.

Normal Results

Normally, there are none of these antibodies in the blood. Normal value ranges may vary slightly among different laboratories. Some labs use different measurements or test different samples. Talk to your doctor about the meaning of your specific test results.

What Abnormal Results Mean

Antibodies in the blood may mean any of the following:

Risks

Veins and arteries vary in size from one person to another and from one side of the body to the other. Obtaining a blood sample from some people may be more difficult than from others.

Other risks:

  • Excessive bleeding
  • Fainting or feeling lightheaded
  • Hematoma (blood accumulating under the skin)
  • Infection (a slight risk any time the skin is broken)

References

Phelps RG, Turner AN. Anti-glomerular basement membrane disease and Goodpasture disease. In: Johnson RJ, Feehally J, Floege J, eds. Comprehensive Clinical Nephrology. 5th ed. Philadelphia, PA: Elsevier Saunders; 2015:chap 24.

Salama AD, Pusey CD. Goodpasture syndrome and other antiglomerular basement membrane diseases. In: Gilbert SJ, Weiner DE, eds. National Kidney Foundation Primer on Kidney Diseases. 6th ed. Philadelphia, PA: Elsevier Saunders; 2014:chap 21.

    • Blood test

      Blood test - illustration

      Blood is drawn from a vein (venipuncture), usually from the inside of the elbow or the back of the hand. A needle is inserted into the vein, and the blood is collected in an air-tight vial or a syringe. Preparation may vary depending on the specific test.

      Blood test

      illustration

      • Blood test

        Blood test - illustration

        Blood is drawn from a vein (venipuncture), usually from the inside of the elbow or the back of the hand. A needle is inserted into the vein, and the blood is collected in an air-tight vial or a syringe. Preparation may vary depending on the specific test.

        Blood test

        illustration

      Tests for Anti-glomerular basement membrane blood test

       

      Review Date: 9/22/2015

      Reviewed By: Charles Silberberg, DO, private practice specializing in nephrology, affiliated with New York Medical College, Division of Nephrology, Valhalla, NY. Review provided by VeriMed Healthcare Network. Also reviewed by David Zieve, MD, MHA, Isla Ogilvie, PhD, and the A.D.A.M. Editorial team.

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