Immunofixation blood test
The immunofixation blood test is used to identify proteins called immunoglobulins in blood. Too much of the same immunoglobulin is usually due to different types of blood cancer. Immunoglobulins are antibodies that help your body fight infection.
How the Test is Performed
How to Prepare for the Test
There is no special preparation for this test.
How the Test will Feel
When the needle is inserted to draw blood, some people feel moderate pain. Others feel only a prick or stinging. Afterward, there may be some throbbing or a slight bruise. This soon goes away.
Why the Test is Performed
This test is most often used to check the levels of antibodies associated with certain cancers and other disorders.
A normal (negative) result means that the blood sample had normal types of immunoglobulins. The level of one immunoglobulin was not higher than any other.
What Abnormal Results Mean
An abnormal result may be due to:
- Amyloidosis (buildup of abnormal proteins in tissues and organs)
- Leukemia or Waldenström macroglobulinemia (types of white blood cell cancers)
- Lymphoma (cancer of the lymph tissue)
- Monoclonal gammopathy of unknown significance (MGUS)
- Multiple myeloma (a type of blood cancer)
- Other cancers
There is little risk involved with having your blood taken. Veins and arteries vary in size from one person to another and from one side of the body to the other. Taking blood from some people may be more difficult than from others.
Other risks associated with having blood drawn are slight, but may include:
- Excessive bleeding
- Fainting or feeling lightheaded
- Multiple punctures to locate veins
- Hematoma (blood accumulating under the skin)
- Infection (a slight risk any time the skin is broken)
Aoyagi K, Ashihara Y, Kasahara Y. Immunoassays and immunochemistry. In: McPherson RA, Pincus MR, eds. Henry's Clinical Diagnosis and Management by Laboratory Methods. 23rd ed. St Louis, MO: Elsevier; 2017:chap 44.
Reviewed By: Richard LoCicero, MD, private practice specializing in hematology and medical oncology, Longstreet Cancer Center, Gainesville, GA. Review provided by VeriMed Healthcare Network. Also reviewed by David Zieve, MD, MHA, Medical Director, Brenda Conaway, Editorial Director, and the A.D.A.M. Editorial team.