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August 1960

The Significance of Urine Electrophoresis in Patients with Multiple Myeloma

Author Affiliations


From the Veterans Administration Hospital and the Departments of Medicine and Pathology, University of Minnesota.

Arch Intern Med. 1960;106(2):172-178. doi:10.1001/archinte.1960.03820020012004

Some of the merits of electrophoresis of the urine in patients with multiple myeloma have been emphasized previously.1-4 About 10% to 25% of these patients fail to show a characteristic protein peak in the serum 1-7 and would escape detection by serum electrophoresis alone. Fortunately this very group of patients excretes Bence Jones proteins in the urine in practically every instance. (The term "Bence Jones protein" is used somewhat loosely in this report to include all urinary paraproteins.) Upon electrophoresis Bence Jones proteins present themselves as sharply defined homogenous bands anywhere between the ranges of α- and γ-globulins. In some instances of multiple myeloma these urinary paraproteins are demonstrated very distinctly by means of urine electrophoresis but are defined vaguely or not at all by the physicochemical criteria of Bence Jones proteins, especially in poorly concentrated urine. Thus they may escape detection.1-3 Simultaneous electrophoresis of serum and urine