Protein electrophoresis - urine

Last updated: Saturday, 16, June, 2007

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Item Process
Specimen

Random urine specimen or 24 hour urine collection to quantitate excretion of light chains and other proteins.

Method

Electrophoresis on agarose gels.

Application

Detection of light chain (Bence Jones) proteinuria. This may be supplemented by specific free light chain assays in plasma.

Assessment of protein selectivity in renal glomerular disease.

Differentiation of glomerular and tubular proteinuria.

Interpretation

Detection of light chain proteinuria is important if multiple myeloma is suspected: see Bence Jones protein.

The electrophoretic pattern may also be helpful to distinguish glomerular from tubular proteinuria.

Reference

Balant L et al. Clin Chim Acta 1974; 54: 27-37.

Tate JR et al. Clin Chem. 2003; 49(8): 1252-1257.