- Last Update On : 2013-01-20
Monoclonal gammopathies constitute a group of diseases characterized by the proliferation of a single clone of plasma cells that produce a homogeneous monoclonal protein (M-protein). The most common examples include monoclonal gammopathy of unknown significance, multiple myeloma, Waldenstrom’s macroglobulinemia, and primary amyloidosis. Less common diseases include solitary plasmacytoma, POEMS syndrome,heavy-chain disease and immunoglobulin deposition disease.
Serum protein electrophoresis is the easiest means of excluding the presence of a monoclonal protein and can detect bands of 0.5 gm/dL or less. Visual examination of electrophoretic patterns by a pathologist is the most sensitive method of detecting monoclonal proteins since small bands may be obscured in densitometric scans. If a monoclonal protein is identified, its immunoglobulin class (IgG, IgA, IgM, IgD, IgE) and light chain type (kappa, lambda) are determined by immunofixation. If no monoclonal protein is detec