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Immunofixation - urine
DefinitionThis is a laboratory technique used to identify proteins in urine.
How the test is performedCollect a "clean-catch" (midstream) urine sample. To obtain a clean-catch sample, men or boys should wipe clean the head of the penis. Women or girls should wash the area between the labia with soapy water and rinse well. As you start to urinate, allow a small amount to fall into the toilet bowl. (This clears the urethra of contaminants.) Then, in a clean container, catch about 1 to 2 ounces of urine, and remove the container from the urine stream. Give the container to the health care provider or assistant.
Immunofixation is a laboratory technique that is used to enhance the results of standard protein electrophoresis. With protein electrophoresis, the urine is placed on specially treated paper and exposed to an electric current. The various proteins migrate (move on the paper) to form bands that indicate the relative proportion of each protein fraction.
Immunoglobulins ( antibodies ) appear as a "gamma" band. Immunofixation is a technique to separate this "gamma" band and identify the individual immunoglobulins. It is similar to immunoelectrophoresis, but it may give more rapid results and is more sensitive.
How to prepare for the testNo special preparation is necessary for this test, but if the collection is being taken from an infant, a couple of extra collection bags may be necessary.
How the test will feelThe test involves only normal urination, and there is no discomfort.
Why the test is performedThe primary use of immunofixation is the identification and monitoring of monoclonal proteins (that is, IgG, IgM, IgA, lambda light chain, and kappa light chain), including those that are present in multiple myeloma and Waldenstrom's macroglobulinemia .
Normal ValuesNo presence of monoclonal immunoglobulins is normal.
What abnormal results meanUsually, abnormal results indicate immune system disorders including multiple myeloma and Waldenstrom's macroglobulinemia .
Sometimes monoclonal immunoglobulins are present, but no evidence can be found of malignancy .
Update Date: 5/7/2003Marcia S. Brose, M.D., Ph.D., Division of Hematology/Oncology, Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, PA. Review provided by VeriMed Healthcare Network.
Last updated: Tue, 06 Jan 2009 00:20:03 GMT