Acetylcholine Receptor (AChR)-blocking Antibodies

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Turnaround Time: 3-7 days
CPT Code:


Test Type: 1mL Serum
Stability Time:



Room temperature

13 days


13 days


13 days

Freeze/thaw cycles

Stable x3


This assay is a secondary test for confirming the diagnosis of acquired myasthenia gravis.1

AChR autoantibodies are not typically found in congenital myasthenia.

This procedure may be considered by Medicare and other carriers as investigational and, therefore, may not be payable as a covered benefit for patients.

Myasthenia gravis is an acquired disorder of neuromuscular transmission characterized by use-associated muscle weakness and fatigability.1 This condition frequently involves the extraocular muscles and has a strong association with tumor of the thymus (thymoma). The disease has a prevalence of approximately 5 per 100,000 individuals and can occur at any age. In women, the disease usually presents between the ages of 20 and 40 years, while disease onset in men typically occurs later in life. AChR blocking antibodies are observed in 52% of patients with autoimmune myasthenia gravis.1 These autoantibodies interfere with normal neuromuscular function, causing muscle weakness and fatigue. Approximately 1% of individuals are positive for AChR blocking antibodies in the absence of AChR binding antibodies.1

1. Griesmann GE, Kryzer TJ, Lennon VA. Autoantibody profiles of myasthenia gravis and Lambert-Eaton myasthenic syndrome. In: Rose NR, Hamilton RG, Detrick B, eds. Manual of Clinical Laboratory Immunology. 6th ed. Washington, DC: ASM Press;2002:1005-1012.

Hara H, Hayashi K, Ohta K, Itoh N, Nishitani H, Ohta M. Detection and characterization of blocking-type anti-acetylcholine receptor antibodies in sera from patients with myasthenia gravis. Clin Chem. 1993 Oct; 39(10):2053-2057. PubMed 8403390

Protti MP, Manfredi AA, Horton RM, Bellone M, Conti-Tronconi BM. Myasthenia gravis: Recognition of a human autoantigen at the molecular level. Immunol Today. 1993 Jul; 14(7):363-368 (review). PubMed 8363727

Vincent A, Newsom-Davis J. Acetylcholine receptor antibody as a diagnostic test for myasthenia gravis: Results in 153 validated cases and 2967 diagnostic assays. J Neurol Neurosurg Psychiatry. 1985 Dec; 48(12):1246-1252. PubMed 4087000

Wu JT, Astill M, Lloyd C, Salmon VC. Rhabdomyosarcoma cell line can be used for the isolation of soluble acetylcholine receptor and for assaying blocking and modulating autoantibodies. J Clin Lab Anal. 1993; 7(1):11-18. PubMed 8426270

Collection Details:

Patient Preparation:

No isotopes administered 24 hours prior to venipuncture.

Collection Instructions:

Red-top tube or gel-barrier tube.

If a red-top tube is used, transfer separated serum to a plastic transport tube.