WHAT IS PROTEIN ELECTROPHORESIS TEST?
Protein electrophoresis is the most frequent measurement of the primary blood proteins: albumin and globulins (alpha1, alpha2, beta, and gamma). Under the influence of an electrical field, at a pH of 8.6, the proteins separated by an electrical charge, molecular size, and shape. Plotted on treated paper, the serum proteins form five homogeneous bands of the relative protein values in percentages. These percentages, when multiplied by the total protein concentration, reflect the absolute value of each protein. High-resolution electrophoresis allows the detection of additional bands or zones. Immunoelectrophoresis may be performed to identify the nature of suspicious bands or to monitor the progress of gammopathies, disturbances in immunoglobulin synthesis. The most rapid form of unknown band identification combines high-resolution electrophoresis with immunoprecipitation. Certain protein electrophoresis band patterns are characteristic of specific disease states.