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Acetylcholine receptor (AChR) antibodies

Category Immunology
Test background

Acetylcholine is an excitatory neurotransmitter that signals through its (nicotinic) receptors at the neuromuscular junction to allow skeletal muscle to contract. Acetylcholine receptor (AChR) antibodies are a sensitive and specific marker for generalised myasthenia gravis (MG) and found in around 85% of MG patients. They are also seen in 50% of patients with pure ocular MG.

See also MuSK antibody

Clinical Indications

Fatigueable muscle weakness
Unexplained aspiration/dysphagia

Reference range

<5 x 10-10 mol/L (range derived by the referral laboratory)

Sample & container required Serum (rust top or yellow tube)
Sample volume 5-10 mL blood (1 mL serum)
Turnaround time 28 days

Not performed in house; this test is performed by radioimmunoassay (RIA) at OUH, Oxford Immunology Laboratory.