Computer-supported detection of M-components and evaluation of immunoglobulins after capillary electrophoresis

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Abstract

BACKGROUND: Electrophoresis of serum samples allows detection of monoclonal gammopathies indicative of multiple myeloma, Waldenstrom macroglobulinemia, monoclonal gammopathy of undetermined significance, and amyloidosis. Present methods of high-resolution agarose gel electrophoresis (HRAGE) and immunofixation electrophoresis (IFE) are manual and labor-intensive. Capillary zone electrophoresis (CZE) allows rapid automated protein separation and produces digital absorbance data, appropriate as input for a computerized decision support system. METHODS: Using the Beckman Paragon CZE 2000 instrument, we analyzed 711 routine clinical samples, including 95 monoclonal components (MCs) and 9 cases of Bence Jones myeloma, in both the CZE and HRAGE systems. Mathematical algorithms developed for the detection of monoclonal immunoglobulins (MCs) in the gamma- and ss-regions of the electropherogram were tested on the entire material. Additional algorithms evaluating oligoclonality and polyclonal concentrations of immunoglobulins were also tested. RESULTS: CZE electropherograms corresponded well with HRAGE. Only one IgG MC of 1 g/L, visible on HRAGE, was not visible after CZE. Algorithms detected 94 of 95 MCs (98.9%) and 100% of those visible after CZE. Of 607 samples lacking an MC on HRAGE, only 3 were identified by the algorithms (specificity, 99%). Algorithms evaluating total gammaglobulinemia and oligoclonality also identified several cases of Bence Jones myeloma. CONCLUSIONS: The use of capillary electrophoresis provides a modern, rapid, and cost-effective method of analyzing serum proteins. The additional option of computerized decision support, which provides rapid and standardized interpretations, should increase the clinical availability and usefulness of protein analyses in the future.

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  • Biochemistry and Molecular Biology
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)110-117
JournalClinical Chemistry
Volume47
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2001
Publication categoryResearch
Peer-reviewedYes