Test Catalog

Interpretive Handbook

Test 60068 :
Electrophoresis, Protein, Random, Urine

Clinical Information Discusses physiology, pathophysiology, and general clinical aspects, as they relate to a laboratory test

Urine proteins can be grouped into 5 fractions by protein electrophoresis:





-Gamma globulin


The urine total protein concentration, the electrophoretic pattern, and the presence of a monoclonal immunoglobulin light chain may be characteristic of monoclonal gammopathies such as multiple myeloma, primary systemic amyloidosis, and light-chain deposition disease.


The following algorithms are available in Special Instructions:

-Laboratory Approach to the Diagnosis of Amyloidosis

-Laboratory Screening Tests for Suspected Multiple Myeloma


Also see Diagnosis and Monitoring of Multiple Myeloma in Publications.

Useful For Suggests clinical disorders or settings where the test may be helpful

Identifying monoclonal gammopathies using random urine specimens

Interpretation Provides information to assist in interpretation of the test results

A characteristic monoclonal band (M-spike) is often found in the urine of patients with monoclonal gammopathies. The initial identification of an M-spike or an area of restricted migration should be followed by immunofixation to identify the immunoglobulin heavy chain and/or light chain.


Immunoglobulin heavy chain fragments as well as free light chains may be seen in the urine of patients with monoclonal gammopathies.


The presence of a monoclonal light chain M-spike of greater than 1 g/24 hours is consistent with a diagnosis of multiple myeloma or macroglobulinemia.


The presence of a small amount of monoclonal light chain and proteinuria (total protein >3 g/24 hours) that is predominantly albumin is consistent with primary systemic amyloidosis (AL) and light-chain deposition disease (LCDD).


Because patients with AL and LCDD may have elevated urinary protein without an identifiable M-spike, urine protein electrophoresis is not considered an adequate screen for these disorders and immunofixation is also recommended.

Cautions Discusses conditions that may cause diagnostic confusion, including improper specimen collection and handling, inappropriate test selection, and interfering substances

Patients suspected of having a monoclonal gammopathy may have a normal urine protein electrophoretic pattern, and these patients should have immunofixation performed.


Monoclonal gammopathies are rarely seen in patients younger than 30 years of age.


Hemolysis may cause a discrete band on protein electrophoresis, which will be negative on immunofixation.


Penicillin may split the albumin band.


Radiographic agents may produce an uninterpretable pattern.

Reference Values Describes reference intervals and additional information for interpretation of test results. May include intervals based on age and sex when appropriate. Intervals are Mayo-derived, unless otherwise designated. If an interpretive report is provided, the reference value field will state this.


No reference values apply to random urine.



The following fractions, if present, will be reported as a percent of the total protein:






No reference values apply to random urines.

Clinical References Provides recommendations for further in-depth reading of a clinical nature

1. Kyle RA, Katzmann JA, Lust JA, Dispenziei A: Clinical indications and applications of electrophoresis and immunofixation. In Manual of Clinical Laboratory Immunology. Sixth edition. Edited by NR Rose, et al. Washington, DC. ASM Press, 2002, pp 66-67

2. Kyle RA, Katzmann JA, Lust JA, Dispernzieri A: Immunochemical characterization of immunoglobulins. In Manual of Clinical Laboratory Immunology. Sixth edition. Edited by N.R. Rose, RG Hamilton, B Detrick. Washington, DC, ASM Press, 2002, pp 71-91

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