Lab Test

Protein Electrophoresis, Serum

SPE, SPEP

Test Codes

Antrim #31270, EPIC: LAB5874, SOFT: SPE

Instructions

NOTE: A serum protein electrophoresis alone is NOT sufficient to determine whether a monoclonal protein is present. If investigating a monoclonal protein, a serum immunofixation or free light chains or both should also be ordered. 

Specimen Collection Criteria

Collect: One Gold-top SST tube. (Minimum Whole Blood: 2.0 mL)

Physician Office/Draw Specimen Preparation

Let specimen clot 30-60 minutes then immediately centrifuge to separate serum from cells. Transfer serum to a plastic aliquot tube and refrigerate (2-8°C or 36-46°F) within 8 hours of collection. (Minimum Serum: 0.5 mL)

Preparation for Courier Transport

Transport: Serum aliquot tube, refrigerated (2-8°C or 36-46°F). (Minimum Serum: 0.5 mL)

Rejection Criteria

Plasma specimens.

Severely hemolyzed, lipemic or icteric specimens.  

In-Lab Processing

Let specimen clot 30-60 minutes then immediately centrifuge to separate serum from cells. Transfer serum to a plastic aliquot tube. Room temperature is acceptable for a maximum of 8 hours. (Minimum Serum: 0.5 mL)


Storage

Specimen Stability for Testing:

Centrifuged SST Tubes and Microtainers®
Room Temperature (20-26°C or 68-78.8°F): 8 hours
Refrigerated (2-8°C or 36-46°F): 7 days
Frozen (-20°C/-4°F or below): Unacceptable

Red-top Tubes

Room Temperature (20-26°C or 68-78.8°F): 2 hours
Refrigerated (2-8°C or 36-46°F): Unacceptable
Frozen (-20°C/-4°F or below): Unacceptable

Serum Specimens (Pour-Overs)
Room Temperature (20-26°C or 68-78.8°F): 8 hours
Refrigerated (2-8°C or 36-46°F): 7 days
Frozen (-20°C/-4°F or below): 1 month

Specimen Storage in Department Prior to Disposal:

Refrigerated (2-8°C or 36-46°F): 7 days

Laboratory

Royal Oak Special Testing Laboratory

Performed

Monday – Friday.
Results available within 3 business days.

Reference Range

See the Chemistry Department’s reference ranges for Total Protein.

Age Albumin
Range (g/dL)
Alpha-1 Globulins
Range (g/dL)
0-6 Days 2.19-3.26 0.18-0.51
7 - 15 Days 3.41-4.80 0.18-0.51
16 Days - 12 Months 3.41-4.80 0.18-0.51
13 Months - 5 Years 3.41-4.80 0.18-0.68
6 - 16 Years 3.50-5.09 0.18-0.68
17 Years and older 3.42-4.86 0.22-0.41


Age Alpha-2 Globulins
Range (g/dL)
Beta Globulins
Range (g/dL)
Gamma Globulins
Range (g/dL)
0-6 Days 0.26-0.62 0.35-0.56 0.81-1.67
7 - 15 Days 0.26-0.62 0.35-0.56 0.81-1.67
16 Days - 12 Months 0.43-0.94 0.43-0.84 0.58-1.55
13 Months - 5 Years 0.43-1.25 0.43-1.03 0.58-2.03
6 - 16 Years 0.43-1.25 0.43-1.03 0.58-2.03
17 Years and older 0.55-1.09 0.53-1.01 0.60-1.45

Test Methodology

Capillary Protein Electrophoresis.

Interpretation

All protein electrophoresis results are reviewed and interpreted by a pathologist. Monoclonal bands are described and quantitated. Findings of polyclonal increases in gamma globulins, inflammatory or protein loss patterns are described if present. Suggestions for additional testing will be given when considered appropriate.

Clinical Utility

Serum protein electrophoresis is used as a screening test for a number of serum protein abnormalities. However, this is NOT sufficient to determine whether a monoclonal protein is present. If investigating a monoclonal protein, a serum immunofixation or free light chains or both should also be ordered. When a monoclonal protein has been identified and it can be quantitated, it should be followed just by a serum protein electrophoresis; an immunofixation is not needed unless there is a change in pattern. 

A monoclonal protein may occur in a variety of conditions e.g. multiple myeloma, other lymphoproliferative disorders, amyloidosis, infections, autoimmune disease and monoclonal gammopathy of undetermined significance. The test may also be useful in the investigation of liver disease.

CPT Codes

84165

Contacts

Last Updated

5/20/2020

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This directory currently reflects information only for specimens collected and/or processed at the
Farmington Hills, Grosse Pointe, Royal Oak, and Troy campuses.