Low gamma globulin: Problems with the immune system
What Affects the Test
Reasons you may not be able to
have the test or why the results may not be helpful include:
High levels of lipids
Iron deficiency anemia.
Some medicines, such as corticosteroids, insulin, cholesterol-lowering medicines (statins), and birth control pills.
What To Think About
Electrophoresis on protein in urine may also be
done, especially if the results of the serum protein electrophoresis test are
abnormal. Normally very little protein is found in urine, but certain diseases
(such as multiple myeloma) cause large amounts of protein to leak into the
Although abnormal protein levels may be found in many
conditions (such as kidney disease, chronic liver disease, systemic lupus
erythematosus, rheumatoid arthritis, or
leprosy), serum protein electrophoresis is usually not
done to diagnose these conditions.
A special test can be done for
one of the major parts of the alpha-1 globulin group (called alpha-1
antitrypsin). Alpha-1 antitrypsin inhibits
enzymes in the lungs that break down protein. These
enzymes can damage normal lung tissue and cause emphysema or chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD). People born without
the ability to produce alpha-1 antitrypsin may develop emphysema at the age of 30 or 40. This condition can be detected by testing them for alpha-1
antitrypsin. To learn more, see the topic
Alpha-1 Antitrypsin Deficiency Genetic Testing.
A test for total serum protein is often done at the
same time as serum protein electrophoresis. To learn more, see the
Total Serum Protein.