Skip to content
My WebMD Sign In, Sign Up

Information and Resources

Font Size

Immunoglobulins

What Affects the Test

Reasons you may not be able to have the test or why the results may not be helpful include:

  • Taking certain medicines. Be sure your doctor knows all of the medicines you take. Some medicines that affect test results include ones used for birth control, heart failure, seizures, and rheumatoid arthritis.
  • Having cancer treatments, both radiation and chemotherapy.
  • Receiving a blood transfusion in the past 6 months.
  • Getting vaccinations (immunizations), especially vaccinations with repeat (booster) doses, in the past 6 months.
  • Using alcohol or illegal drugs.
  • Having had a radioactive scan in the past 3 days.

What To Think About

  • Immunoglobulins are made specific to different illnesses. For example, the IgM antibody for mononucleosis is different than the IgM for herpes. For this reason, a doctor can look for an immunoglobulin to a specific illness to help diagnose that illness.
  • Different antibodies can be used to help a doctor tell the difference between a new and past infection. For example, IgM antibodies for mononucleosis with or without IgG antibodies means a new mono infection. IgG antibodies without IgM means a past mono infection.
  • People with very low immunoglobulin levels, especially IgA, IgG, and IgM, have a higher chance of developing an infection.
  • A very small number of people cannot make IgA and have a higher chance of developing a potentially life-threatening reaction to a blood transfusion.
  • An immunoglobulin test is often done when the results of a blood protein electrophoresis or total blood protein test are abnormal. For more information, see the topics Serum Protein Electrophoresis (SPEP) and Total Serum Protein.

Citations

  1. Fischbach FT, Dunning MB III, eds. (2009). Manual of Laboratory and Diagnostic Tests, 8th ed. Philadelphia: Lippincott Williams and Wilkins.

Other Works Consulted

  • Chernecky CC, Berger BJ (2008). Laboratory Tests and Diagnostic Procedures, 5th ed. St. Louis: Saunders.

  • Fischbach FT, Dunning MB III, eds. (2009). Manual of Laboratory and Diagnostic Tests, 8th ed. Philadelphia: Lippincott Williams and Wilkins.

  • Pagana KD, Pagana TJ (2010). Mosby’s Manual of Diagnostic and Laboratory Tests, 4th ed. St. Louis: Mosby Elsevier.

ByHealthwise Staff
Primary Medical ReviewerE. Gregory Thompson, MD - Internal Medicine
Specialist Medical ReviewerJoseph O'Donnell, MD - Hematology, Oncology
Last RevisedAugust 6, 2012
1|2|3

WebMD Medical Reference from Healthwise

Last Updated: August 06, 2012
This information is not intended to replace the advice of a doctor. Healthwise disclaims any liability for the decisions you make based on this information.

Hot Topics

WebMD Video: Now Playing

Click here to wach video: Dirty Truth About Hand Washing

Which sex is the worst about washing up? Why is it so important? We’ve got the dirty truth on how and when to wash your hands.

Click here to watch video: Dirty Truth About Hand Washing

Popular Slideshows & Tools on WebMD

feet
Solutions for 19 types.
highlighted areas of the brain
How well do you know yours?
oatmeal and eggs
The best and worst for you.
dog begging at table
Foods your dog should never eat.
MS Overview
Recognizing symptoms.
mature woman with serious expression
What do you know?
chlamydia
Pictures and facts.
Healthy Snack
13 delicious options.
Take your medication
Separate fact from fiction.
lone star tick
How to identify that bite.
young woman in sun
What to watch for.
woman clutching at stomach
Do you know what's causing yours?

Women's Health Newsletter

Find out what women really need.