Test Catalog

Test ID: PA2RI    
Phospholipase A2 Receptor Indirect Immunofluorescence Assay, Serum

Useful For Suggests clinical disorders or settings where the test may be helpful

Distinguishing primary from secondary membranous nephropathy


Screening for anti-PLA2R antibodies


Monitoring patients with membranous nephropathy at very low antibody titres

Clinical Information Discusses physiology, pathophysiology, and general clinical aspects, as they relate to a laboratory test

Membranous nephropathy (MN) is a rare disease in which immune complexes deposit at the glomerular basement membrane, causing damage to the filtration barrier, resulting in proteinuria. Recent studies have shown that in approximately 70% of patients with primary MN (pMN), the immune complexes consist of autoantibodies against the podocyte protein M-type phospholipase A2 receptor (PLA2R).(1) There is also evidence that levels of anti-PLA2R autoantibodies correlate well with disease activity and progression.(2) The presence of anti-PLA2R antibodies could also potentially be used to differentiate pMN from other causes of nephrotic syndrome if a biopsy is not possible. Among patients with chronic kidney disease (CKD) awaiting kidney transplantation, higher levels of anti-PLA2R could predict those more likely to recur after transplantation.(2)  Mayo Clinic Renal Lab data suggest that there is a high-concordance between the enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay and indirect immunofluorescence assay (IFA) PLA2R results, although the IFA may be more sensitive in monitoring patients with membranous nephropathy with very low antibody titres.

Reference Values Describes reference intervals and additional information for interpretation of test results. May include intervals based on age and sex when appropriate. Intervals are Mayo-derived, unless otherwise designated. If an interpretive report is provided, the reference value field will state this.


Interpretation Provides information to assist in interpretation of the test results

According to the manufacturer’s package insert, the EUROIMMUN Anti-PLA2R indirect immunofluorescence assay (IFA) was positive in 77.1% of patients with biopsy proven primary membranous nephropathy (pMN). This corresponds well with published literature that approximately 70% of patients with pMN will have anti-PLA2R antibodies.

Cautions Discusses conditions that may cause diagnostic confusion, including improper specimen collection and handling, inappropriate test selection, and interfering substances

Clinical Reference Recommendations for in-depth reading of a clinical nature

1. Beck L, Bonegio R, Lambeau G, et al: M-type phospholipase A2 receptor as target antigen in idiopathic membranous nephropathy. N Engl J Med 2009;361:11-21

2. Schlumberger W, Hornig N, Lange S, et al: Differential diagnosis of membranous nephropathy with autoantibodies to phospholipase A2 receptor 1. Autoimmun Rev 2014 Feb;13(2)108-113