Articles on Medical Diseases and Conditions

Entries for August, 2009

Lipoprotein Phenotyping

In 1965, Frederickson, Levy, and Lees published an article that caught the attention of the medical world. They divided lipoprotein disorders into five basic “phenotypes,” based primarily on electrophoresis of serum obtained after 10 hours of overnight fasting. The sixth phenotype was added later when type II was split into IIa and IIb. Lipoprotein phenotyping […]

Laboratory Tests Used to Assess Risk of Coronary Heart Disease (CHD)

There has been much interest in the significance of the lipoproteins in atherosclerosis. Large numbers of studies have been carried out, different populations have been examined, various diets have been tried, and endless pages of statistics have been published. Several laboratory assays that have general, but sometimes not unanimous, acceptance as predictors of atherosclerotic risk […]

Lipoprotein Metabolism

Triglycerides (TG) enter the blood from exogenous (food) and endogenous (liver) sources. Food provides neutral fat, which is primarily triglyceride and which is hydrolyzed by pancreatic lipase into free fatty acids (FFA) and monoglycerides. These enter small intestine mucosal cells. The lipid fractions are recombined into TG within the mucosal cells and are incorporated into […]

Serum Complement

Serum complement is an important immunologic enzyme system that comprises about 10% of the serum globulins. Complement has many activities, some of which are undoubtedly still unknown. Most attention has been focused on its role in the immunologic system, where effects have been demonstrated on vascular permeability, chemoaxis, phagocytosis, immune adherence, and immune cell lysis. […]

Secondary Monoclonal Gammopathy

Secondary monoclonal gammopathy may be further subdivided into diseases associated with neoplasia and those associated with nonneoplastic disorders. In the neoplasm group, monoclonal proteins are most often found with malignant lymphoma and chronic lymphocytic leukemia. Among carcinomas, those of the rectosigmoid are most frequent, followed by carcinomas of the prostate, breast, and lung. The incidence […]

Multiple Myeloma

Multiple myeloma is a malignancy of plasma cells that, in turn, are derived from B-type lymphocytes. The neoplastic plasma cells involve bone marrow and frequently produce multisystem disease. Patients are usually age 40 or older, with a peak incidence occurring in age group 60-65 years. About two thirds of the patients are male (literature range, […]


Gamma globulins (called immunoglobulins, or Igs, in current immunologic terminology) are not a homogeneous group. There are three main subdivisions: IgG, which migrates in the gamma region on electrophoresis; IgA, which migrates in the pregamma region or in the area between gamma and beta; and IgM, which migrates in the prebeta or beta region (Fig. […]

Typical Electrophoretic Patterns

Several typical electrophoretic patterns are presented with diseases in which they are most commonly found (Fig. 22-2). It must be strongly emphasized that no pattern is pathognomonic of any single disease and that there is considerable variation in the shape and height of the electrophoretic peaks in individual patients that may obscure a pattern. In […]

Serum Protein Electrophoresis

Electrophoresis is still the most commonly used screening test for serum protein abnormalities except for measurement of albumin only. Before electrophoresis was readily available, the albumin/globulin ratio was widely used; this was determined with a chemical method and should no longer be ordered, since electrophoresis not only provides the same information but also pinpoints areas […]

Laboratory Problems in Serum Protein Assay Methods

The various techniques just mentioned are based on different properties of protein molecules (e.g., chemical, dye-binding, electrical charge, antibody binding sites). Therefore, the different techniques may not produce identical values for all protein fractions or for individual proteins. Added to this are alterations in proteins from disease or genetic abnormalities, different interfering substances or medications, […]