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Clin Biochem. 1996 Feb;29(1):39-42.

A retrospective study of the relative utility of electrophoresis, immunoelectrophoresis, immunofixation, and nephelometry in the investigation of serum proteins.

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  • 1Department of Laboratory Medicine and Pathology, University of Alberta Hospitals, Edmonton, Canada.

Abstract

OBJECTIVES:

To assess the relative value of visual inspection of protein electrophoresis patterns, immunoelectrophoresis, immunofixation, and specific protein quantitation in the investigation of serum proteins.

DESIGN AND METHODS:

A retrospective study of protein results on 372 sera analyzed by electrophoresis and immunoelectrophoresis. A subsection of specimens (276) also had immunoglobulin quantitation by immunonephelometry and 30 were studied by immunofixation.

RESULTS:

Total gamma globulin levels were correctly assessed visually in 84.4% of cases. Discrete bands seen visually were mainly monoclonal in 74 of 80 (92.5%). Six monoclonal proteins were not detected visually. Twenty-five monoclonal proteins required immunofixation for typing, and 60 were typed by immunoelectrophoresis. The visual assessment of the level of normal immunoglobulins in the presence of a monoclonal gammopathy was correct in 58% of cases.

CONCLUSIONS:

The majority of monoclonal gammopathies could be evaluated by a combination of protein electrophoresis and immunoelectrophoresis. Except for quantitating monoclonal immunoglobins, protein electrophoresis was unreliable as a quantitative procedure and nephelometry was preferred.

PMID:
8929822
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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