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
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.
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:
- Anti-glomerular basement membrane disease
- Goodpasture syndrome
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.
- Excessive bleeding
- Fainting or feeling lightheaded
- Hematoma (blood accumulating under the skin)
- Infection (a slight risk any time the skin is broken)
GBM antibody test; Antibody to human glomerular basement membrane; Anti-GBM antibodies
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.
Update Date 9/22/2015
Updated 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.