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Free Light Chains & Monoclonal Gammopathies

Impact on Diagnostic Panels

Intact Immunoglobulin/Free Light Chain

Slide 10

August 2008

In 2002 an assay for free light chain quantitation became available. These antisera do not bind the light chain contained in intact immunoglobulins. They recognize epitopes on light chains that are hidden within the binding to the heavy chains.

When the light chains are in solution and not bound to heavy chain these epitopes are available and can be quantitated. There are two separate assays, one for kappa free light chain and one for lambda free light chain and they each have their reference range. In addition the kappa lambda free light chain ratio has a reference range, and this is useful diagnostically. If this ratio was high, it implies a clonal expansion of cells producing kappa free light chain and conversely if it’s low, it suggests an expansion of lambda-producing cells.

Intact Immunoglobulin/
Free Light Chain


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