Clinical distinction of type 1 from type 2 diabetes mellitus
Identification of individuals at risk of type 1 diabetes (including high-risk relatives of patients with diabetes)
Prediction of future need for insulin treatment in adult-onset diabetic patients
Islet cell autoantibodies have been known to be associated with type 1 diabetes mellitus for 36 years. In recent years, several autoantigens against which islet antibodies are directed have been identified. These include the tyrosine phosphatase-related islet antigen 2 (IA-2), glutamic acid decarboxylase 65, the zinc transporter ZnT8, and insulin. One or more of these autoantibodies are detected in 96% of patients with type 1 diabetes, and are detectable before clinical onset, as well as in symptomatic individuals. A serological study of 50 type 1 diabetics and 50 control subjects conducted simultaneously across 43 laboratories in 16 countries demonstrated a median sensitivity of 57% and a median specificity of 99% for IA-2 antibody in type 1 diabetes. Prospective studies in relatives of patients with type 1 diabetes have shown that development of 1 or more islet autoantibodies (including IA-2 antibody) provides an early marker of progression to type 1 diabetes. Autoantibody profiles identifying patients destined to develop type 1 diabetes are usually detectable before age 3. In 1 study of relatives seropositive for IA-2 antibody, the risk of developing type 1 diabetes within 5 years was 65.3%. Some patients with type 1 diabetes are initially diagnosed as having type 2 diabetes because of symptom onset in adulthood, societal obesity, and initial insulin-independence. These patients with "latent autoimmune diabetes in adulthood" may be distinguished from those patients with type 2 diabetes by detection of 1 or more islet autoantibodies (including IA-2).
< or = 0.02 nmol/L
Reference values apply to all ages.