Strengths and weaknesses of methods for identifying monoclonal free light chains of Ig: examples from two cases with renal disease

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Serum free light chain (FLC) analysis with ratio and urine immunofixation electrophoresis (IFE) are both available for routine use in helping to detect plasma cell dyscrasia and related diseases.


Case reports showing one serum positive for serum FLC but that showed a hook effect and overestimated the amount of monoclonal FLC while urine IFE was negative for Bence Jones protein, and a second serum that showed elevated FLC κ and λ but a normal κ/λ ratio, while urine IFE was positive for Bence Jones protein.


These two techniques complement one another. Neither of the techniques is truly quantitative, and both exhibit methodological defects.

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