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Serum protein electrophoresis

The blood contains a large number of proteins that perform different functions. Protein electrophoresis provides an estimate of the main classes of protein present, most importantly of IgG, IgA and IgM, three different classes of immunoglobulins (antibodies). The albumin, alpha-globulin and beta globulin fractions provide information on protein synthesis by the liver or losses through the kidney (nephrotic syndrome) or the digestive tract (exudative enteropathy). The electrophoretic pattern can also reveal nutritional deficiencies and various inflammatory processes. An interpretation of the protein electrophoresis results by a biochemist always appears on the report and, depending on the situation, will include recommendations on further testing to determine the medical condition (e.g., protein immunofixation, measurement of free kappa and lambda chains, specific measurement of relevant proteins, etc.). Consult the information regarding each of the fractions observed during protein electrophoresis.

Term of the Week

Predictive medicine

Medicine that links medical knowledge with data to predict a patient’s potential health problems. Examples include artificial intelligence and genetics.