EBF - Clinical: Electrophoresis, Protein, Body Fluid

Test Catalog

Test Name

Test ID: EBF    
Electrophoresis, Protein, Body Fluid

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

Monitoring patient's body fluid proteins


Aiding in the diagnosis of monoclonal gammopathies, when used in conjunction with immunofixation of the patient's serum


Detecting oligoclonal banding in spinal fluid (the preferred test for detecting oligoclonal bands in spinal fluid is OLIG / Oligoclonal Banding, Serum and Spinal Fluid)

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

Body fluid proteins can be grouped into 5 fractions by protein electrophoresis (PEL):


-Alpha-1 Globulin

-Alpha-2 Globulin

-Beta Globulin

-Gamma Globulin

The concentration of these fractions and the electrophoretic pattern may identify abnormalities in the levels of the various fractions.


Protein electrophoresis alone is not considered an adequate screening for body fluid or serum monoclonal gammopathies.

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.

Not applicable

Interpretation Provides information to assist in interpretation of the test results

Monoclonal gammopathies:

A characteristic monoclonal band (M-spike) is often found in the gamma-globulin region and more rarely in the beta or alpha-2 regions. The finding of a M-spike, restricted migration, or hypogammaglobulinemic body fluid protein electrophoresis pattern is suggestive of a possible monoclonal protein and should be followed by a MPSS / Monoclonal Protein Study, Serum using the patient’s serum, which includes immunofixation to identify the immunoglobulin heavy chain and/or light chain.

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

Hemolysis may augment the beta fraction.


Penicillin may split the albumin band.


Radiographic agents may produce an uninterpretable pattern.

Clinical Reference Recommendations for in-depth reading of a clinical nature

Kyle RA, Katzmann JA, Lust JA, Dispenzieri A: Clinical indications and applications of electrophoresis and immunofixation. Chapter 7. In Manual of Clinical Laboratory Immunology. Edited by NR Rose, et al. Sixth Edition. Washington, DC. ASM Press, 2002 pp 66-67