Chronic primary adrenal insufficiency (Addison disease) is most commonly caused by the insidious autoimmune destruction of the adrenal cortex and is characterized by the presence of adrenal cortex autoantibodies in the serum. Autoantibodies to steroid 21-hydroxylase are a major component of adrenal cortex antibodies and are characteristic of autoimmune Addison’s disease. 21-hydroxylase antibodies are now tested instead of adrenal antibodies. This test measures 21 Hydroxylase Antibodies in the blood sample.
The 21-Hydroxylase Antibody test is used to investigate adrenal gland insufficiency and to assess a person’s risk of developing possible auto-immune adrenal gland insufficiency.
The adrenal glands (one gland on each kidney) are responsible for secreting cortisol, aldosterone, and other steroid hormones. Cortisol and aldosterone are vital hormones, and a malfunction of the adrenal glands (Addison’s disease) should be detected and treated quickly. 21-Hydroxylase is a protein involved in hormone synthesis by the adrenal glands.
Our immune system is responsible for defending our body against threats from cells and foreign organisms. Often, it is deregulated and mistakes some of its own tissues for foreign tissues. The production of antibodies against the body’s own tissues is the cause of a large number of auto-immune diseases such as rheumatoid arthritis, juvenile diabetes, and several thyroid disorders. Auto-antibodies are also the most frequent cause of Addison’s disease, on its own or often combined with other auto-immune conditions (hypothyroidism, pernicious anaemia, type 1 diabetes, etc.). The presence of 21-Hydroxylase antibodies is compatible with established or developing Addison’s disease.
No test preparation is needed.
Positive results (> or =1 U/mL) indicate the presence of adrenal autoantibodies consistent with Addison disease.
Lipemic or grossly hemolyzed serum should not be used in this assay. Interpretation of test results requires consideration of other factors such as the clinical status of the patient, other test results, etc.
The laboratory test results are NOT to be interpreted as results of a "stand-alone" test. The test results have to be interpreted after correlating with suitable clinical findings and additional supplemental tests/information. Your healthcare providers will explain the meaning of your tests results, based on the overall clinical scenario.
Certain medications that you may be currently taking may influence the outcome of the test. Hence, it is important to inform your healthcare provider of the complete list of medications (including any herbal supplements) you are currently taking. This will help the healthcare provider interpret your test results more accurately and avoid unnecessary chances of a misdiagnosis.
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