Striated / Skeletal Muscle Antibody (Aska), Ifa

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    blood sample




    Age group

    Above 10 years

    People with an autoimmune neurological disease known as Myasthenia Gravis (MG) have a tough time coping with the disease. It causes acute muscle weakness. Patients with this disease lose the ability to control muscles voluntarily and may not be able to move muscles in the face, neck, limbs, and eyes. 

    MG is a lifelong neuromuscular disease. It does not have a cure, but specific treatments can help, and some patients may also achieve remission. Neuromuscular diseases like MG, which is one of the most common autoimmune neurological diseases, can be either:

    • Ocular, which means that the muscles that are responsible for the movement of the eyes and eyelids weaken over time. This may cause the eyelids to droop or have double vision in some cases. 
    • Generalised, which causes muscle weakness in the eye and various body parts such as the neck, arms, legs, throat, and face. This may cause difficulty in speaking or swallowing, lifting your arms above your head, walking long distances, etc. 


    The skeletal muscle antibody test helps check the abnormal antibodies count in a patient. These antibodies cause the blocking of receptor sites Acetylcholine, which is a significant neurological transmitter. The skeletal muscle antibody test is generally ordered for patients who experience delayed response rate of muscles, chronic fatigue, slow chewing, and droopy eyelids. 

    The serum of the collected blood sample is analysed to test the antibody levels. The results of the skeletal muscle antibody test are interpreted in the following ways:

    • If the skeletal muscle antibody test result is positive for autoimmune antibodies, it indicates the possibility of a tumor called thymoma in patients with myasthenia Gravis
    • If the result is negative for the presence of autoimmune antibodies, the possibility of MG is not eliminated but requires additional diagnostic tests. 

    Since MG is an autoimmune disease, the body's immune system attacks itself due to unknown reasons. People who suffer from MG have antibodies that attack the receptor sites, blocking and disrupting nerve-muscle communication. Hence, there is extreme weakness in the muscle receptors. 

    The various symptoms of the disease include: 

    • Drooping eyelids
    • Double vision
    • Difficulty moving the neck up or holding the head up
    • Difficulty speaking, swallowing, or chewing
    • Trouble walking
    • Limb weakness

    In a few rare cases, this disease can affect the respiratory system, and you may experience shortness of breath or other severe breathing problems. Since a person suffering from MG may experience extreme weakness and fatigue and keep them away from participating in their favourite activities. It can also lead to depression and other mental health problems. 

    At Apollo 24|7, you can get yourself tested with the ASKA skeletal (Striated) muscle antibody test to find the presence of these antibodies and get appropriate treatment immediately. By getting yourself tested with a skeletal muscle antibody test, your healthcare provider can

    • Check for the presence of abnormal antibodies in the serum 
    • Diagnose you if you are showing positive symptoms of MG

    Medically reviewed by Dr Arun Kannan, Sr Consultant Orthopaedics at Apollo Hospitals Greams Road, Chennai

    faqFrequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

    Frequently asked questions

    This autoimmune neurological disease affects around 20 out of every 100,000 people. Experts estimate the number of people that may be affected because of this disease. However, the actual numbers may be higher than the estimated. Many people with mild cases may not be aware of having contracted the disease.
    The disease mainly affects women aged between 20 to 40 and men between 50 to 80. Only one in ten cases of this disease occur amongst teenagers, which is also known as juvenile MG. The illness is most likely to affect people of all ages but is rare amongst children. Some factors that increase the risk are a history of other autoimmune diseases like lupus and rheumatoid arthritis, infections, malaria and cancer medications, surgical procedures, thyroid diseases, etc.
    In very rare cases, pregnancy brings on MG symptoms for the very first time. If you’ve already contracted the disease, your symptoms may worsen during the first trimester or soon after childbirth. In a few cases, the symptoms of MG may improve during pregnancy.  But, some treatments for MG are not safe for women during pregnancy or breastfeeding. So, consult your healthcare provider to guide you through the process.
    Generally, autoimmune myasthenia gravis is not inherited. It is extremely rare for more than one member belonging to the same family to be diagnosed with MG. However, the non-autoimmune form of this disease, also known as congenital myasthenia syndrome, can affect more than one member in the same family.
    After being diagnosed with MG with the help of the ASKA skeletal (Striated) muscle antibody test, most patients live a relatively normal life with appropriate treatment. This includes medications, monoclonal antibodies, IV immunoglobulin (IVIG), plasma exchange, and surgery.
    No, there are no significant complications of the ASKA skeletal (Striated) muscle antibody test since it is a simple blood test. You may experience slight discomfort, pain, or swelling after the needle is inserted into your arm. It usually subsides after some time has passed.
    The most common form of this disease is autoimmune MG. It can be either ocular or generalised and affect the muscles of your eyes, eyelids, face, neck, arms, etc.

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    The information mentioned above is meant for educational purposes only and should not be taken as a substitute to your Physician’s advice. It is highly recommended that the customer consults with a qualified healthcare professional to interpret test results