We are independent & ad-supported. We may earn a commission for purchases made through our links.
Advertiser Disclosure
Our website is an independent, advertising-supported platform. We provide our content free of charge to our readers, and to keep it that way, we rely on revenue generated through advertisements and affiliate partnerships. This means that when you click on certain links on our site and make a purchase, we may earn a commission. Learn more.
How We Make Money
We sustain our operations through affiliate commissions and advertising. If you click on an affiliate link and make a purchase, we may receive a commission from the merchant at no additional cost to you. We also display advertisements on our website, which help generate revenue to support our work and keep our content free for readers. Our editorial team operates independently of our advertising and affiliate partnerships to ensure that our content remains unbiased and focused on providing you with the best information and recommendations based on thorough research and honest evaluations. To remain transparent, we’ve provided a list of our current affiliate partners here.

What is a Paraprotein?

By Misty Wiser
Updated Mar 03, 2024
Our promise to you
The Health Board is dedicated to creating trustworthy, high-quality content that always prioritizes transparency, integrity, and inclusivity above all else. Our ensure that our content creation and review process includes rigorous fact-checking, evidence-based, and continual updates to ensure accuracy and reliability.

Our Promise to you

Founded in 2002, our company has been a trusted resource for readers seeking informative and engaging content. Our dedication to quality remains unwavering—and will never change. We follow a strict editorial policy, ensuring that our content is authored by highly qualified professionals and edited by subject matter experts. This guarantees that everything we publish is objective, accurate, and trustworthy.

Over the years, we've refined our approach to cover a wide range of topics, providing readers with reliable and practical advice to enhance their knowledge and skills. That's why millions of readers turn to us each year. Join us in celebrating the joy of learning, guided by standards you can trust.

Editorial Standards

At The Health Board, we are committed to creating content that you can trust. Our editorial process is designed to ensure that every piece of content we publish is accurate, reliable, and informative.

Our team of experienced writers and editors follows a strict set of guidelines to ensure the highest quality content. We conduct thorough research, fact-check all information, and rely on credible sources to back up our claims. Our content is reviewed by subject-matter experts to ensure accuracy and clarity.

We believe in transparency and maintain editorial independence from our advertisers. Our team does not receive direct compensation from advertisers, allowing us to create unbiased content that prioritizes your interests.

A paraprotein is an abnormal immunoglobulin fragment detected in the blood or urine that is usually indicative of an underlying malignant disease, such as multiple myeloma. It is often the only by-product of a tumor cell. If these substances are found in the blood or urine and no other malignant diseases have been diagnosed for a period of at least five years, their presence is determined to be a condition called benign paraproteinaemia. During the time prior to the passing of five years, the condition is known as monoclonal gammopathy of uncertain significance (MGUS).

The presence of these immunoglobulin fragments usually points to a B-cell malignancy or lymphoma. They are frequently detected in patients that have a diagnosis of Kaposi’s sarcoma or chronic lymphocytic leukemia. Patients with a compromised immunity, like those that have recently undergone a bone marrow transplant, are likely to have paraproteins in their blood while the immune system rebuilds itself.

Most often, detection leads to a diagnosis of myelomatosis, also called multiple myeloma, which is a cancer of plasma cells. In addition to paraproteins in blood serum or urine, there will be degradation of bone tissue and increased plasma cells within the bone marrow. Normal antibody production is interrupted by the paraproteins, causing a lowered immune defense. It is possible to have a diagnosis of multiple myeloma without the confirmed presence of paraproteins, but it is rare.

With myelomatosis, paraprotein deposits can develop in the kidneys, causing a decrease in renal function. Blood tests will show elevated creatine levels, indicating the renal impairment. Hypercalcemia, which is elevated levels of calcium detected in the bloodstream, can indicate the need to test for the presence of specific substances. The blood calcium levels increase because the destruction of bone cells by osteoclasts releases calcium into the body.

To determine the meaning of the paraprotein detected, a process called protein electrophoresis is performed. The immunoglobulin fragments will show as varying narrow bands on the test strip, enabling the laboratory to decide what type of paraprotein is present in the blood or urine. These tests can give an early indication of the prognosis of the malignant condition.

Persons with paraprotein found in their urine or blood serum will need to have regular blood tests every three months, even if it is determined that their condition is benign. The tests will monitor any increase in the concentration of paraprotein. A change in the concentration or type of paraprotein can be the first indicator of a developing malignant condition.

The Health Board is dedicated to providing accurate and trustworthy information. We carefully select reputable sources and employ a rigorous fact-checking process to maintain the highest standards. To learn more about our commitment to accuracy, read our editorial process.
Discussion Comments
By flameangel — On Apr 12, 2012

A low level of IgM Paraprotein was found but on referral to a hematologist two weeks later, this had disappeared. How could this happen?

By cloudel — On Oct 27, 2011

I have a kidney condition that has to be monitored regularly. My doctor checks my urine for paraprotein every time I come in, and he told me that I would be able to tell if my urine had any protein in it by looking for bubbles. If it is bubbly, then protein is present.

He also checks my creatinine levels by taking a blood sample during every visit. So far, my kidney function is considered stable, but it could easily dip down into the below normal range, so I have to have frequent checkups. He told me that because of my condition, I have a higher risk of developing kidney cancer than most people.

The Health Board, in your inbox

Our latest articles, guides, and more, delivered daily.

The Health Board, in your inbox

Our latest articles, guides, and more, delivered daily.