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Protein Electrophoresis

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Requesting Electrophoresis and Immunoglobulins

All areas of the Trust are in the process of ensuring that they deliver a cost effective service within an increasingly limited resource. The blood sciences laboratory continues to strive to deliver a cost effective service therefore we request that specific requests for serum electrophoresis and immunoglobulins are made as outlined below.

We recommend that requests for Serum Electrophoresis only are made if the identification or exclusion of a paraprotein in the serum (i.e. myeloma, MGUS, etc) is being investigated. Serum Immunoglobulin quantification is then only undertaken if a paraprotein is identified. It is recommended that a urine sample is provided to the laboratory WITH the serum sample to allow identification of free light chain (Bence Jones protein) in the urine if present.

Requests for immunoglobulins only should be made in the context of systemic inflammatory illnesses and immunodeficiency.

If immunodeficiency is a concern and you wish to discuss the best approach for diagnosis or monitoring treatment of this condition, please contact Dr Claire Bethune, Consultant Immunologist on 01752 431675 or email on claire.bethune@nhs.net

Serum electrophoresis may be added at the validation stage by the duty biochemist if thought appropriate. The majority of serum electrophoresis requests from patients with inflammatory or infectious diseases are of low specificity in both diagnosis and management.

The laboratory operates a minimum repeat policy of 20 days for Immunoglobulin and 30 days for electrophoresis. This is based on the biological variation and analytical CV.

Re-analysis before these intervals will need justification with the duty biochemist on 01392 402935. We would hope you would carefully consider whether these assays are really necessary.

Serum electrophoresis and Immunoglobulin measurements will both be tested if requested.

Biologics therapy

Please note, patients receiving monoclonal  therapy (e.g. infliximab) may have a small band detected in their protein electrophoresis. If you are concerned about a possible false positive result from drug interference please contact the laboratory.

Turnaround time



Local Laboratory

Stat Availability

By arrangement with a Clinical Haematologist only

Assayed By

Blood Sciences

Minimum Repeat Interval

30 days if previous result normal. For patients with a diagnosis of MGUS or Myeloma 13 days

Specimen Labelling Procedure
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