Pathology Associates Of Lexington, P.A.
Pathology Associates Of Lexington, P.A.
Pathology Associates Of Lexington, P.A.
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        Beta 2 Microglobulin, Urine or blood test
Beta 2 Microglobulin
This is a small protein molecule which sheds or leaks in small quantities from the cell surface (of almost all nucleated cells) into the blood. It easily passes through kidney glomeruli into urine from which it is usually entirely resorbed by the renal tubules. Increased amounts are produced by increased cell turn-over, especially of lymphoid and plasma cell malignancies.

Test Uses:

  • increased levels in urine indicate a tubular defect component of a renal disease (or possibly spill-over from huge myeloma production)

  • increased serum levels in:

    1. normal is 1.22 mg/L (+-0.28) [0.6-2.41]

    2. MGUS is 1.64 mg/L (+-0.38) (unlikely just MGUS if >3 mg/L)

    3. multiple myeloma 6.84 (+-5.34) [4.3, +- 2.81]

      • not a good screening test because 25% have levels in the MGUS range

      • great for following treatment response and/or disease progression

      • if bulky disease by imaging and this test not elevated, unlikely to be myeloma

    4. bone marrow graft rejection, acute (1.1-4.2) & chronic (3.2-6.1)1

    5. AIDS cases (2.5-6.7)1

    6. infectious mononucleosis, EBV & CMV & some other severe viral illnesses  (mean 4.8)1

    7. chronic lymphocytic leukemia (2.0-16)1

    8. non-Hodgkin lymphoma, stage I & II (1.0-5.0)1

    9. non-Hodgkin lymphoma, stage III & IV (1.0-11.0)1

    10. acute myeloid leukemia (1-11.8)1

Synonyms: beta-2m, B-2M


  1. Manual of Clinical Laboratory Immunology, Rose NR, et. al., 4th ed., 1992.

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