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SAMJ: South African Medical Journal

On-line version ISSN 2078-5135
Print version ISSN 0256-9574


HOUSTON, B L; RIMMER, E; ZARYCHANSKI, R  and  SEFTE, M. Laboratory testing in the evaluation of a monoclonal protein: A practical framework for interpretation. SAMJ, S. Afr. med. j. [online]. 2019, vol.109, n.10, pp.719-722. ISSN 2078-5135.

Monoclonal proteins are immunoglobulins secreted by identical but abnormal plasma cells that are clones of a parent cell. While routine screening in the absence of signs or symptoms of disease is not recommended, testing is indicated in the diagnostic work-up for multiple myeloma and other plasma cell disorders. When indicated, a serum protein electrophoresis with immunofixation and serum free light-chain assay should be performed to determine the type and quantity of monoclonal protein. Using a case-based approach, we highlight common misconceptions with monoclonal protein investigations, and suggest a practical framework for diagnostic interpretation.

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