What is Immunofixation Electrophoresis Serum test? 

This test measures the amount of immunoglobulins (antibodies) in your serum. Antibodies are immune system proteins that help the body to fight infections and diseases. Specific antibodies or immunoglobulins are formed against specific antigens (foreign substance or microbe).  

Immunoglobulins can be of different types - IgA, G, M, E and D. All the immunoglobulins produced from a single antibody molecule are called monoclonal immunoglobulins. Their levels may markedly increase in the body in certain health conditions. 

The immunofixation blood test not only helps the doctor to determine if excess amount of specific antibody types are present in your blood but also it aids in finding out abnormal immunoglobulins.

In this test, the proteins in the blood are separated on a gel on the basis of their size and the electric charge. Once separated, they form bands of different widths, which are then studied to obtain the results.

  1. Why is an Immunofixation Electrophoresis Serum test performed?
  2. How do you prepare for an Immunofixation Electrophoresis Serum test?
  3. How is an Immunofixation Electrophoresis Serum test performed?
  4. What do Immunofixation Electrophoresis, Serum test results mean?

Your doctor may order this test for diagnosing certain types of cancers such as multiple myeloma and Waldenstrom’s macroglobulinemia, which are associated with the presence of abnormal immunoglobulins. 

It is also done to look for a condition called primary amyloidosis. Primary amyloidosis is a rare disorder in which an abnormal protein known as amyloid begins to collect in the tissues and organs. It can produce severe symptoms such as changes in the skin, irregular heartbeat, swelling of the tongue, swelling of the lungs, kidney failure and nerve problems.

Moreover, this test may be performed if your doctor suspects that your body is unable to absorb certain proteins from food.

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No specific preparation is required for this test. 

In case you are taking any medications or health/herbal supplements, inform your doctor in advance.

It is a simple blood test for which your doctor will withdraw a small amount of blood from a vein in your arm. You are likely to feel a pricking or piercing sensation when the needle is inserted into your skin. After the test, the skin around the needle insertion site may remain bruised for a short time.

Some risks associated with blood tests are:

  • Difficulty in obtaining the sample.
  • Fainting
  • Bleeding at the site where the needle is inserted.
  • Localised infection 
  • Accumulation of blood under the skin (hematoma)
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Normal results:

A normal result indicates that you do not have any abnormal protein in your body. 

Abnormal results:

Abnormal or positive results indicate that you have excess or abnormal immunoglobulins in your blood. This test does not have a reference range as it does not measure the amount of monoclonal protein. Positive results may be due to the presence of the following:

  • Certain types of cancers
  • Multiple myeloma
  • Waldenstrom’s macroglobulinaemia
  • Amyloidosis
  • Leukaemia
  • Monoclonal gammopathy of unknown significance

In case you have been diagnosed with any of the abovementioned diseases, the immunofixation blood test may be performed at regular intervals to check if the treatment is effective or not. 

Disclaimer: All results must be clinically correlated with the patient’s complaints to make a complete and accurate diagnosis. The above information is provided from a purely educational point of view and is in no way a substitute for medical advice by a qualified doctor.


  1. University of Rochester Medical Center [Internet]. Rochester (NY): University of Rochester Medical Center; Immunofixation (Blood)
  2. ARUP Labs [Internet]. University of Utah. Plasma Cell Dyscrasias
  3. McPherson RA, Pincus MR, eds. Henry’s Clinical Diagnosis and Management by Laboratory Methods. 23rd ed. St. Louis, MO: Elsevier. Chap 44, 46.
  4. Perry MC. Plasma Cell Disorders. In: Goldman L, Schafer AL. eds. Goldman's Cecil Medicine. 24th ed. Philadelphia, PA: Saunders Elsevier. Chap 193.
  5. American Society of Clinical Oncology [internet]; Waldenstrom’s Macroglobulinemia: Symptoms and Signs
  6. American Cancer Society [internet]. Atlanta (GA), USA; Signs and Symptoms of Multiple Myeloma
  7. International Myeloma Foundation [Internet]. California (U.S.A.). [Link]
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