Immunoglobulin Electrophoresis
(IGE)

Alternate Names

  • Immunoglobulins
  • Gamma Globulin Electrophoresis
  • IgM
  • IgG
  • IgE
  • IgA
  • IgD

Immunoglobulins are antibodies formed by the body as a normal response to an infection or allergy. Immunoglobulins have a number of subclasses which, when identified, can be specific to viral infections, autoimmune or hypersensitivity diseases, seasonal allergies, and immune deficiencies. A small amount of blood is placed on a special paper, an electrical current is applied which causes the different immunoglobulins to separate from each other and move along the paper. Each immunoglobulin has known normal measurements, as well as abnormal changes that are associated with specific disease states.

IgA: High blood levels are seen in people with chronic cirrhosis of the liver, bowel disease with chronic inflammation, chronic infections, or women using IUDs. Low blood levels are seen in people with low blood protein levels due to kidney disease or the use of immunosuppressive drugs.

IgG: High blood levels are seen in people with the autoimmune diseases SLE (systemic lupus erythmatosis), Sjogren's syndrome, or rheumatoid arthritis; chronic tuberculosis, Wegener's, or chronic sarcoidosis; or chronic liver disease. Low blood levels are seen in people with AIDS, low blood protein levels due to kidney disease, the use of immunosuppressive drugs, leukemia, or multiple myeloma.

IgM: High blood levels are seen in people with the autoimmune diseases rheumatoid arthritis or SLE; acute or chronic hepatitis or mononucleosis; or chronic cirrhosis of the liver. Low blood levels are seen in people with low blood protein levels due to kidney disease, the use of immunosuppressive drugs, AIDS, leukemia, or multiple myeloma.

IgE: High blood levels are seen in people with allergic reactions due to fungal infection caused by aspergillosis, or parasitic infection; asthma, eczema, or hay fever. Low blood levels are seen in people with low levels of the blood protein gamma globulin, which is used to produce antibodies.

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