Serum (Gold Top)
North Devon District Hospital (Mon-Fri)
Serum Electrophoresis requests are to assist in the identification or exclusion of a paraprotein in the serum (i.e. myeloma, MGUS, etc.). A request for serum electrophoresis includes total protein, albumin and serum Immunoglobulin quantification. It is recommended that a urine sample is provided to the laboratory with the serum sample to allow identification of free light chain (Bence-Jones protein) in the urine if present.
Serum proteins are separated into six major groupings by protein electrophoresis. These fractions are called albumin, alpha 1, alpha 2, beta 1, beta 2 and gamma. Albumin, which is produced in the liver, forms its own group and accounts for about 60% of the protein in the blood. 'Globulins' is a collective term used to refer to proteins other than albumin. The bands seen on protein electrophoresis form characteristic patterns. Alterations to these patterns are associated with a variety of different diseases and conditions.