Parietal cells are the stomach epithelial cells that secrete gastric acid and intrinsic factor. Intrinsic factor is required for the absorption of Vitamin B12 in the diet. A long-term deficiency in vitamin B12 can lead to Megaloblastic anaemia,
characterized by large fragile Red Blood Cells. Pernicious anaemia is a condition where intrinsic factor is not produced and leads to the same type of anaemia.
Markedly increased levels are observed, for example, after trauma, heart attack, with autoimmune disorders, and with serious bacterial infections like sepsis.
A Parietal Cell Antibody test is used along with or as a follow up test to Intrinsic Factor Antibody test. These two tests help determine the cause of vitamin b12 deficiency and in a suspected case of pernicious anaemia for confirming the diagnosis.
Signs and symptoms include presence of large fragile red blood cells (RBCs) which is one of the first signs and can be detected much earlier in a routine CBC (Complete Blood Examination). Weakness, fatigue, pale, numbness and tingling are few other symptoms.
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