Autoimmune GI Dysmotility
Targeted evaluations to improve
Autoimmune gastrointestinal dysmotility (AGID) is a limited manifestation of autoimmune dysautonomia that occurs as an idiopathic phenomenon. Signs and symptoms include early satiety, nausea, vomiting, bloating, diarrhea, constipation, and involuntary weight loss. The onset may be subacute, and neurological manifestations may or may not be an accompaniment.
Identifying GI dysmotility as autoimmune-mediated is extremely important because patients treated with immunotherapy can see a dramatic improvement, going from persistent nausea, vomiting, and weight loss to feeling normal within a few weeks.
The importance of interpretation within a clinical context
Since the levels of antibodies can be quite low — and low levels may also be seen in healthy people — the interpretation of the antibody testing needs to be done carefully and within a patient’s clinical context.
Mayo Clinic’s standardized approach to autoimmune neurological conditions is based on three M’s (see right).
Antibody testing is important because:
- Many antibodies in the panel have implications for cancer, and a positive result may guide a search for underlying malignancies.
- A patient may have an immune therapy-responsive condition that doesn’t respond to intravenous immunoglobulin. However, a positive antibody test showing likelihood of an immune-mediated disorder can lead the clinician to be more aggressive in treatment.
- Depending on the antibody present, some patients may go on to develop encephalopathy or seizures, which are treatable, reversible conditions.
Which test should I order?
Antibodies included and their oncological association
Learn more about how to order these evaluations at your institution.