Islet Cell Antibody

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    blood sample




    Age group

    7 years & above

    The islet cell antibody test helps detect the presence of islet antibodies in the system. These antibodies are proteins produced by the immune system in response to diabetes and help confirm the condition's presence.

    Type 1 diabetes is a chronic condition in which the autoimmune cells in the body destroy the beta cells that produce insulin. Since insulin is responsible for allowing glucose to enter the cells and produce energy, individuals with type 1 diabetes have too much glucose in their bloodstream.

    This gives rise to high blood sugar, characterised by the following symptoms:

    • Dehydration, since excessive sugar in the body leads to frequent urination. 
    • Weight loss due to frequent urination. 
    • Damage to the nerves and small blood vessels in the eyes, kidneys, and heart.

    Diabetic ketoacidosis, which occurs when the body breaks down fat to use as fuel. This breakdown is responsible for the release of ketones. The mix of ketones, extra glucose, and dehydration may be life-threatening.

    The islet cell antibody test is used as a diagnostic test to determine the nature of diabetes afflicting an individual. Since islet antibodies are only found in type 1 diabetes, this test can be used to confirm the diagnosis and devise the treatment method accordingly.

    It is a simple blood test in which the clinical lab technician draws blood from the vein, usually at the bend of the elbow. The blood is then carefully stored and sent for further analysis. The subsequent results may confirm type 1 diabetes if islet cell cytoplasmic autoantibodies (ICA) are present in the blood.

    A doctor might also order an islet cell antibody test if the standard treatment for type 2 diabetes is not helping in controlling the glucose levels. In such cases, this test might confirm that the ineffectiveness of the treatment is due to the type 1 diabetes condition in the individual.

    To determine the type of diabetes early, Apollo 24|7 offers a comprehensive islet cell antibody test. A doctor recommends this test when an individual is constantly suffering from the symptoms listed below:

    • Increased thirst
    • Frequent urination
    • Extreme hunger
    • Irritability and other mood changes
    • Blurred vision
    • Fatigue and weakness

    Children affected by this condition may also constantly urinate on the bed. If the child starts bed-wetting and has not previously done that, it is advisable to contact a doctor, who might recommend the islet cell antibody test. 

    Medically reviewed by Dr. K Surya Pavan Reddy, Diabetologist at Apollo Hospitals Jubilee Hills, Hyderabad.

    faqFrequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

    Islet cell antibody test is one the most reliable tests to detect type 1 diabetes since the immune system produces islet antibodies in response to the condition. However, it is not the only diagnostic test. Some of the other tests include: Glutamic Acid Decarboxylase Autoantibodies  Insulinoma Associated-2 Autoantibodies  Insulin Autoantibodies  Zinc Transporter-8 Autoantibodies
    Type 1 diabetes is a condition that usually affects children and young people, but it can affect any age group. Some risk factors that contribute to this condition are: Genetics  Exposure to viruses and other environmental factors Additionally, it can also occur due to geographical conditions. As you move away from the equator, you may have a higher chance of contracting type 1 diabetes due to low sun exposure.
    In rare cases, individuals with type 1 diabetes can produce no islet antibodies, which may lead to a misdiagnosis. However, this occurs in only about 5% of the people who get tested. The other 95% may have at least a single islet antibody to confirm the diagnosis.
    Despite active research, type 1 diabetes has no known cure. The treatment aims to control the blood sugar levels in the body. The same can be achieved by combining diet, insulin, and lifestyle to prevent any significant consequences.
    Yes, the islet cell antibody test is a standard blood test that poses minimal to no risk. You might encounter slight bruising on the spot where the blood is taken. However, this bruising fades away without any intervention.
    The islet cell antibody test is strictly a diagnostic test. This means it is used to determine the type of diabetes affecting you. Since islet antibodies are prevalent during type 1 diabetes, this test can confirm your diagnosis. Upon this confirmation, the standard treatment can begin.

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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