Skip to Main Content


Monoclonal Gammopathy


As described elsewhere (Chapter 29: The Lymphoid System: II. Malignant Lymphomas), neoplastic proliferations of B lymphocytes are demonstrably monoclonal; if plasmacytoid differentiation occurs, the neoplastic cells may secrete immunoglobulin that will accumulate in the serum and produce a monoclonal spike on electrophoresis, or M protein. The terms monoclonal gammopathy and plasma cell dyscrasia are employed synonymously for disorders in which a monoclonal spike is present in serum. Most conditions associated with monoclonal gammopathy (Table 30-1) show evidence of proliferation of plasma cells or plasmacytoid cells—hence the term plasma cell dyscrasia. It is important to distinguish the forms of monoclonal gammopathy that are malignant because they require treatment.

Table Graphic Jump Location
Table 30–1. Causes of Monoclonal Gammopathy*.  


Serum Protein Electrophoresis

The serum contains numerous proteins that may be separated by electrophoresis according to differences in size and charge. Protein molecules are allowed to migrate on special paper or in a gel under the influence of an electrical field. Identical molecules migrate to an identical point within the field, and each different protein accumulates at a characteristic point under specified conditions (Figure 30-1). Protein accumulations, or bands, may be visualized by staining and quantitated by densitometry: The higher the density of the band, the more protein is present.

Figure 30–1.
Graphic Jump Location

Serum protein electrophoresis. In normal individuals, all molecules of albumin are identical in charge and molecular weight and therefore accumulate in one narrow band on electrophoresis. Because ...

Want remote access to your institution's subscription?

Sign in to your MyAccess profile while you are actively authenticated on this site via your institution (you will be able to verify this by looking at the top right corner of the screen - if you see your institution's name, you are authenticated). Once logged in to your MyAccess profile, you will be able to access your institution's subscription for 90 days from any location. You must be logged in while authenticated at least once every 90 days to maintain this remote access.


About MyAccess

If your institution subscribes to this resource, and you don't have a MyAccess profile, please contact your library's reference desk for information on how to gain access to this resource from off-campus.

Subscription Options

AccessPhysiotherapy Full Site: One-Year Subscription

Connect to the full suite of AccessPhysiotherapy content and resources including interactive NPTE review, more than 500 videos, Anatomy & Physiology Revealed, 20+ leading textbooks, and more.

$595 USD
Buy Now

Pay Per View: Timed Access to all of AccessPhysiotherapy

24 Hour Subscription $34.95

Buy Now

48 Hour Subscription $54.95

Buy Now

Pop-up div Successfully Displayed

This div only appears when the trigger link is hovered over. Otherwise it is hidden from view.