Abstract

Due to the diagnostic sensitivity of serum free light chain quantitation for monoclonal light chain diseases, it has been suggested that urine assays no longer need be performed as part of the diagnostic algorithm for monoclonal proteins. We reviewed our experience to determine the relative diagnostic contribution of urine assays.

Methods: Patients with a monoclonal gammopathy and monoclonal urinary protein at initial diagnosis who also had a serum immunofixation and serum free light chain quantitation within 30 days of diagnosis were identified (n = 428). The laboratory results for serum protein electrophoresis, serum immunofixation, serum free light chain, urine protein electrophoresis, and urine immunofixation were reviewed.

Results: The patients in this cohort had diagnoses of multiple myeloma, primary amyloid, monoclonal gammopathy of undetermined significance, smoldering multiple myeloma, solitary plasmacytomas, and other less frequently detected monoclonal gammopathies. By definition of the cohort, all 428 had a monoclonal urine protein. 86% had an abnormal serum free light chain K/L ratio, 81% had an abnormal serum protein electrophoresis, and 94% had an abnormal serum immunofixation. In only 2 patients, however, were all 3 serum assays normal. Both of these were patients with monoclonal gammopathy of undetermined significance (idiopathic Bence Jones proteinuria).

Conclusion: Discontinuation of urine studies and reliance on a diagnostic algorithm using solely serum studies (protein electrophoresis, immunofixation, and free light chain quantitation), missed 2 of the 428 monoclonal gammopathies (0.5 %) with urinary monoclonal proteins, and these 2 cases required no medical intervention.

Disclosure: No relevant conflicts of interest to declare.

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