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Immunoglobulin A (IgA), Serum

The measurement of serum immunoglobulin A is used in the laboratory investigation of monoclonal gammopathies and immune system deficiencies.

Immunoglobulin A (IgA) exists in two forms, a circulating form, and a secreted form. IgA consists of antibodies that are effective against viruses and certain bacteria such as Clostridium tetani, Corynebacterium diphtheriae, and Escherichia coli. Primarily located in mucosal membranes, it is the major immunoglobulin in colostrum, saliva, tears, bronchial secretions, urogenital, gastrointestinal, and respiratory tracts. IgA has been found in receptors in alveolar macrophages and leukocytes and is believed to provide a broad protective function in the respiratory tract. Protects by neutralizing viruses that invade the endothelial surface after infection. In the blood, immunoglobulin A is normally 10-15% of all the body's immunoglobulins. Immunoglobulin A does not cross the placenta.

What Do Pathological Values Mean?
  • Increase: Arthritis (rheumatoid), autoimmune disorders, Berger's disease, carcinoma, cirrhosis, chronic infections, dysproteinemia, Henoch-Schonlein purpura, multiple myeloma, polio, sinusitis, Wiskott-Aldrich syndrome.
  • Decrease: Bruton's disease, burns, childhood asthma, congenital IgA deficiency, hereditary ataxia telangiectasia, humoral immune deficiency, hypogammaglobulinemia, nephrotic syndrome, protein loss-related enteropathies. Medications: carbamazepine, dextran, estrogen, gold, methylprednisolone, oral contraceptives, penicillamine, phenytoin, valproic acid.



Important Note

Laboratory test results are the most important parameter for the diagnosis and monitoring of all pathological conditions. 70%-80% of diagnostic decisions are based on laboratory tests. The correct interpretation of laboratory results allows a doctor to distinguish "healthy" from "diseased".

Laboratory test results should not be interpreted from the numerical result of a single analysis. Test results should be interpreted in relation to each individual case and family history, clinical findings, and the results of other laboratory tests and information. Your personal physician should explain the importance of your test results.

At Diagnostiki Athinon we answer any questions you may have about the test you perform in our laboratory and we contact your doctor to get the best possible medical care.


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