Protein electrophoresis - serum

Last updated: Thursday, 29, April, 2004

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Item Process
Specimen

5 mL blood in plain tube.

Method

Electrophoresis on agarose gel, with interpretation by inspection.

Quantitation of bands, if appropriate, by densitometry.

Application

Detection and quantitation of paraprotein bands in eg, multiple myeloma, Waldenström macroglobulinaemia and some lymphoproliferative disorders.

Less specific patterns are seen in association with liver disease, infection, other inflammatory states, nephrotic syndrome or specific protein deficiencies.

Interpretation

Electrophoresis results may be diagnostic, but additional investigation may be required to characterise the abnormalities.

See Paraprotein typing - serum.

Reference

Whicher JT and Spence CE. Ann Clin Biochem 1987; 24: 133-139.