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Clinical Chemistry and Laboratory Medicine (CCLM)

Published in Association with the European Federation of Clinical Chemistry and Laboratory Medicine (EFLM)

Editor-in-Chief: Plebani, Mario

Editorial Board Member: Gillery, Philippe / Kazmierczak, Steven / Lackner, Karl J. / Lippi, Giuseppe / Melichar, Bohuslav / Schlattmann, Peter / Whitfield, John B.

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Serum β2-microglobulin measured by immunonephelometry: expression patterns and reference intervals in healthy adults

Zoltán Mátrai1 / Júlia Németh2 / Katalin Miklós2 / Zsófia Szabó2 / Tamás Masszi1

1Department of Haematology and Stem Cell Transplantation, St. László Hospital, Budapest, Hungary

2Department of Clinical Immunology, State Health Center, Budapest, Hungary

Corresponding author: Zoltán Mátrai, MD, PhD, Department of Haematology and Stem Cell Transplantation, St. László Hospital, Gyáli u. 5–7, 1097 Budapest, Hungary Phone: +36-309-642016, Fax: +36-1-4558252,

Citation Information: Clinical Chemistry and Laboratory Medicine. Volume 47, Issue 5, Pages 585–589, ISSN (Online) 1437-4331, ISSN (Print) 1434-6621, DOI: 10.1515/CCLM.2009.137, May 2009

Publication History



Background: Serum β2-microglobulin (β2m) has been established as a marker of disease activity in malignancies, autoimmune conditions and infections. Despite its important role in prognosis assessment and disease monitoring, relatively few studies are available on its expression in healthy individuals. Furthermore, interpretation of results is hampered by the variety in reference limits due to differences in methodology, sample population and statistics.

Methods: Serum β2m concentrations were measured using a microparticle-enhanced immunonephelometric method in 183 healthy blood donors aged 29–75 years.

Results: The median β2m concentration was 1.67 (0.88–2.75) mg/L with no difference between men and women (1.71 mg/L vs. 1.62 mg/L, p<0.07). A linear correlation was found between β2m and age (p<0.0001), serum concentrations significantly higher in older subjects (1.55, 1.59, 1.70, and 1.87 mg/L in age groups of 29–40, 40–50, 50–60 and 60–75 years, respectively, p<0.0001). Reference intervals obtained by non-parametric estimation after partitioning by age were 1.02–2.46 mg/L vs. 1.29–2.70 mg/L in younger (29–49 years) vs. older (50–75 years) individuals.

Conclusions: These data can help standardise β2m reference limits and support age-adjusted comparisons in clinical studies.

Clin Chem Lab Med 2009;47:585–9.

Keywords: age; β2-microglobulin (β2m); immunonephelometry; reference interval; serum

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