What are the possible results of serum protein electrophoresis (SPEP)?

Updated: Jul 31, 2019
  • Author: Sherilyn Alvaran Tuazon, MD; Chief Editor: Eric B Staros, MD  more...
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Answer

Answer

Various disease states or conditions alter the pattern of proteins in electrophoresis (see Table 1 below).

Table 1. Serum Protein Fractions and Conditions Associated with an Increased or Decreased Level (Open Table in a new window)

Serum Protein Fraction

Increased

Decreased

Albumin

Severe dehydration

Malnutrition, cachexia, liver disease, nephrotic syndrome, protein-losing enteropathies, severe burns

Alpha-1

Inflammatory states, pregnancy

Alpha-1 antitrypsin deficiency

Alpha-2

Inflammatory states, nephrotic syndrome, oral contraceptive use, steroid use, hyperthyroidism

Hemolysis, liver disease

Beta

Hyperlipidemia, iron-deficiency anemia

Hypo-B-lipoproteinemia, malnutrition

Gamma

Polyclonal and Monoclonal Gammopathies

Agammaglobulinemia, hypogammaglobulinemia


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