Immunofixation (IFE), Serum and Protein Electrophoresis Blood Test
The IFE test is used to identify monoclonal immunoglobulin gammopathies. It may also indicate conditions such as multiple myeloma or Waldenstrom’s macroglobulinemia.
The IFE test detects immunoglobulins, also known as antibodies, in the blood, including IgA, IgG, and IgM. It is most often ordered to evaluate a monoclonal globulin detected in a protein electrophoresis or to delineate a possible lymphoproliferative process, particularly myeloma. The serum protein electrophoresis (SPEP) test measures specific proteins in the blood to help identify some diseases. Proteins are substances made up of smaller building blocks called amino acids. The IFE test is often used to diagnose multiple myeloma or Waldenstrom’s macroglobulinemia, when symptoms of the disorders are present. Both conditions produce abnormal Ig. Clinical symptoms of multiple myeloma include: bone pain in the back or ribs weakness and fatigue weight loss broken bones recurrent infections weakness in the legs nausea and vomiting Clinical symptoms of Waldenstrom’s macroglobulinemia include: weakness severe fatigue bleeding from the nose or gums weight loss bruises or other skin lesions blurred vision swelling of the lymph nodes, spleen, or liver This test alone cannot be used to make a diagnosis. The test only indicates whether abnormal Ig is present.
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