Kappa Light Chain, Free, Blood Test
The Kappa Light Chain, Free, Serum Test measures the levels of a specific protein in the blood and is used to diagnose or monitor plasma cell disorders.
What is the purpose of this test?
Order this Kappa Light Chain, Free, Blood Test, which is used to diagnose or monitor plasma cell disorders by measuring the levels of a specific type of protein in the blood. These proteins, known as light chains, are synthesized by plasma cells, which are responsible for fighting off infections and illnesses. Normally, light chains combine with other proteins, called heavy chains, to produce immunoglobulins (antibodies) that help the immune system function correctly.
When proteins in the blood are not linked to other proteins, they are referred to as "free light chains." There are two types of free light chains present in the blood: kappa and lambda light chains. It is common to have some of both types in the bloodstream. However, some individuals have unusually high or low levels of one or both types of free light chains in their blood, which may indicate a plasma cell disorder. The test is also employed to monitor the progress of existing plasma cell disorders.
What conditions are associated with abnormal kappa free light chain levels?
Abnormal kappa free light chain levels are associated with several conditions, especially plasma cell disorders, including:
- Lymphoproliferative disorder
- Monoclonal gammopathy of undetermined significance or MGUS
- Multiple myeloma
- Solitary plasmacytoma
- Waldenström macroglobulinemia
An individual could have a plasma cell disorder if the results are not within the normal range. Nevertheless, high levels of free light chains in the blood may also be caused by chronic inflammation, kidney disease, or an immune system disorder. It's important to note that abnormal results don't always imply a plasma cell disorder in these situations.
When should I order a Kappa Light Chain, Free, Blood Test?
Individuals may order this test if they have experienced symptoms related to a plasma cell disorder. Common signs or symptoms related to these disorders may include:
- Unusual bruising or bleeding
- Bone lesions
- Bone pain
- Kidney disease
- Numbness or tingling in arms and legs
- Skin rash or purple spots on the skin
- Swollen tongue
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