Published online Nov 21, 2005. doi: 10.3748/wjg.v11.i43.6735
Revised: June 1, 2005
Accepted: June 2, 2005
Published online: November 21, 2005
Primary biliary cirrhosis (PBC) is usually diagnosed by the presence of characteristic histopathological features of the liver and/or antimitochondrial antibodies (AMA) in the serum traditionally detected by immunofluorescence. Recently, new and more accurate serological assays for the detection of AMA, such as enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA), immunoblotting, and enzyme inhibition assay, have been developed. Of these, the enzyme inhibition assay for the detection of anti- pyruvate dehydrogenase complex (PDC) antibodies offers certain advantages such as objectivity, rapidity, simplicity, and low cost. Since this assay has almost 100% specificity, it may have particular applicability in screening the at-risk segment of the population in developing countries. Moreover, this assay could be also used for monitoring the disease course in PBC. Almost all sera of PBC-suspected patients can be confirmed for PBC or non-PBC by the combination results of immunoblotting and enzyme inhibition assay without histopathological examination. For the development of a “complete” or "gold standard" diagnostic assay for PBC, similar assays of the enzyme inhibition for anti-2-oxoglutarate dehydrogenase complex (OGDC) and anti-branched chain oxo-acid dehydrogenase complex (BCOADC) antibodies will be needed in future.