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Immunofixation blood test

Definition

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.

Alternative Names

Serum immunofixation

How the Test is Performed

A blood sample is needed.

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.

Normal Results

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:

Risks

There is very 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
  • Hematoma (blood accumulating under the skin)
  • Infection (a slight risk any time the skin is broken)

References

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.

Review Date:5/20/2016
Reviewed By:Todd Gersten, MD, Hematology/Oncology, Florida Cancer Specialists & Research Institute, Wellington, FL. Review provided by VeriMed Healthcare Network. Also reviewed by David Zieve, MD, MHA, Isla Ogilvie, PhD, and the A.D.A.M. Editorial team.

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