Protein characterization using electrophoresis and immunofixation; a case-based review of dogs and cats

Veterinary Clinical Pathology
A Russell Moore, Paul R Avery

Abstract

Protein electrophoresis and immunotyping can be a useful adjunct to the standard biochemical techniques for characterizing serum and urine proteins. This paper reviews currently available and commonly used methods for diagnostic protein electrophoresis, including both agarose gel and capillary zone electrophoretic techniques and total protein assessments. Immunofixation and immunosubtraction methods for identification of immunoglobulin location and class are also presented. Practical application of quality assurance and quality control strategies in compliance with American Society of Veterinary Clinical Pathology (ASVCP) best practices are discussed. Commonly encountered serum and urine electrophoretic diagnostic patterns, including electrophoretically normal, acute-phase protein responses, polyclonal gammopathies, restricted polyclonal/oligoclonal gammopathies, paraproteinemias (monoclonal or biclonal gammopathies), and Bence-Jones proteinurias are also reviewed using relevant case material. Cases in which immunofixation electrophoresis are particularly useful are highlighted, and methodologies to more accurately quantify serum monoclonal proteins (M-proteins), monitoring tests commonly used in human medicine, are discussed.

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