Comparison of the free and total light chain assays in serum and urine samples with immunofixation electrophoresis for detecting monoclonal proteins in patients with monoclonal gammopathy
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Monoclonal protein (M-protein) is produced by a malignant clone of plasma cells. Detected in serum and/or urine, this typically indicates multiple myeloma (MM) or other monoclonal gammopathy (MG). In a majority of MM cases, with the production of intact monoclonal immunoglobulin (Ig), malignant plasmocytes and/or B lymphocytes often produce excessive amounts of free light chains (FLCs). Excessive synthesis of FLCs lowers the ability of renal proximal tubules to re-absorb FLCs, which results in abnormally high levels of FLCs in the urine (Bence Jones protein, BJP). In laboratory practice, there are tests available for the quantitative measurement of only FLCs κ and λ or for total light chains (TLCs). These tests measure both free forms and bound in the (Ig) molecules forms as light chains that are evident in the serum and in urine. The purpose of this study was to evaluate the FLCs and TLCs approaches in screening serum and urine samples of patients with MM, doing so in comparison to the results of immunofixation (IFE) assessment. A second purpose was to assess the suitability of the collected material for obtaining the most reliable results. The results of serum FLCs (sFLCs) assays suggest that this approach is of the highest reliability and diagnostic usefulness in the detection of MG with excess production of FLCs, in comparison to other available tests. In our work, when κ band light chains were detected in serum IFE (sIFE), 91% patients had their FLCs concentrations beyond the reference range, whereas 89% patients had increased λ FLCs when λ band light chains were detected in sIFE. We also found abnormal sFLC κ/λ ratios in 86.4% and 88.9% of all subject patients who had κ or λ band light chains detected in their sIFE, respectively.
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- Department of Biochemistry Diagnostics, Medical University of Lublin, 11 Staszica, 20-081 Lublin, Poland, firstname.lastname@example.org
- The Clinic of Hematooncology and Bone Marrow Transplantation, SPSK 1, Lublin
- Leeds Institute of Rheumatic and Musculoskeletal Medicine, University of Leeds
- Department of Biochemistry Diagnostics, Medical University of Lublin, 11 Staszica, 20-081 Lublin, Poland
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