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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

Ed. by Gillery, Philippe / Greaves, Ronda / Lackner, Karl J. / Lippi, Giuseppe / Melichar, Bohuslav / Payne, Deborah A. / Schlattmann, Peter

IMPACT FACTOR 2017: 3.556

CiteScore 2017: 2.34

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Volume 54, Issue 6


Performance goals for immunoglobulins and serum free light chain measurements in plasma cell dyscrasias can be based on biological variation

Charlotte Toftmann Hansen
  • Corresponding author
  • Department of Haematology, Odense University Hospital, Kloevervaenget 10, 12th floor, Odense 5000, Denmark
  • Email
  • Other articles by this author:
  • De Gruyter OnlineGoogle Scholar
Published Online: 2016-01-29 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.1515/cclm-2015-0792


Measurements of immunoglobulins and serum free light chains (sFLC) are frequently used in patients with monoclonal plasma cell dyscrasia (PCD). For optimum patient care, well-defined performance standards or goals for the measured concentrations of immunoglobulins and sFLC are required. Generally, data based on biological variation is a good and reliable method for setting desirable performance standards; this also applies for the measurements of paraprotein and sFLC. The benefits of this approach are several. Among others, it is independent of the clinician, and it provides us with information about reference change value and index of individuality. Several studies on biological variation of both immunoglobulins and sFLC have been published, and mostly the studies are well performed. The studies normally show small within-subject biological variation resulting in strict analytical goals, which in most cases are difficult to meet. Nevertheless, we still need further information on biological variation of immunoglobulins and sFLC in patients with PCD and in the elderly, which are the main target populations for the two measurands. Furthermore, to improve data on biological variation of immunoglobulins and sFLC, studies accounting for number of individuals, samples, and replicates, as well as time length of the studies are needed.

Keywords: biological variation; free light chains; paraprotein; performance standards


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About the article

Corresponding author: Charlotte Toftmann Hansen, Department of Haematology, Odense University Hospital, Kloevervaenget 10, 12th floor, Odense 5000, Denmark, Phone: +45 2442 8085

Received: 2015-08-17

Accepted: 2016-01-02

Published Online: 2016-01-29

Published in Print: 2016-06-01

Citation Information: Clinical Chemistry and Laboratory Medicine (CCLM), Volume 54, Issue 6, Pages 1031–1033, ISSN (Online) 1437-4331, ISSN (Print) 1434-6621, DOI: https://doi.org/10.1515/cclm-2015-0792.

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