Test Catalog

Test ID: LKM    
Liver/Kidney Microsome Type 1 Antibodies, Serum

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

Evaluation of patients with liver disease of unknown etiology


Evaluation of patients with suspected autoimmune hepatitis

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

Autoimmune liver disease (eg, autoimmune hepatitis and primary biliary cirrhosis) is characterized by the presence of autoantibodies including smooth muscle antibodies (SMA), antimitochondrial antibodies (AMA), and anti-liver/kidney microsomal antibodies type 1 (anti-LKM-1).(1) Subtypes of autoimmune hepatitis (AIH) are based on autoantibody reactivity patterns.


Anti-LKM-1 antibodies serve as a serologic marker for AIH type 2 and typically occur in the absence of SMA and antinuclear antibodies. These antibodies react with a short linear sequence of the recombinant antigen cytochrome monooxygenase P450 2D6.(2) Patients with AIH type 2 more often tend to be young, female, and have severe disease that responds well to immunosuppressive therapy.

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.

< or =20.0 Units (negative)

20.1-24.9 Units (equivocal)

> or =25.0 Units (positive)

Reference values apply to all ages.

Interpretation Provides information to assist in interpretation of the test results

Seropositivity for anti-liver/kidney microsomal antibodies type 1 (anti-LKM-1) antibodies is consistent with a diagnosis of autoimmune hepatitis (AIH) type 2.

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

Serologic tests for autoantibodies, including anti-liver/kidney microsomal antibodies type 1 (anti-LKM-1), should not be relied upon exclusively to determine the etiology or prognosis of patients with liver disease.


Anti-LKM-1 antibodies may occur in some patients with chronic hepatitis caused by hepatitis C virus infection. Although the epitopes recognized by anti-LKM-1 antibodies in hepatitis C virus infection are different than in patients with autoimmune hepatitis (AIH) type 2, physicians must use caution in interpreting the results of tests for anti-LKM-1 antibodies in such patients.

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

1. Clinical Immunology Principles and Practice. Third edition. Edited by RR Rich, TA Fliesher, WT Shearer, et al: Philadelphia, PA, Mosby Elsevier, 2008

2. Czaja AJ, Homburger HA: Autoantibodies in liver disease. Gastroenterology. January 2001;120(1):239-249