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An immunoglobulins test is done to measure the level of immunoglobulins, also known as antibodies, in your blood.
Antibodies are substances made by the body's immune system in response to bacteria, viruses, fungus, animal dander, or cancer cells. Antibodies attach to the foreign substances so the immune system can destroy them.
Antibodies are specific to each type of foreign substance. For example, antibodies made in response to a tuberculosis infection attach only to tuberculosis bacteria. Antibodies also work in allergic reactions. Occasionally, antibodies may be made against your own tissues. This is called an autoimmune disease.
If your immune system makes low levels of antibodies, you may have a greater chance of developing repeated infections. You can be born with an immune system that makes low levels of antibodies, or your system may make low levels of antibodies in response to certain diseases, such as cancer.
The five major types of antibodies are:
The levels of each type of antibody can give your doctor information about the cause of a medical problem.
A test for immunoglobulins (antibodies) in the blood is done to:
This test is often done when the results of a blood protein electrophoresis or total blood protein test are abnormal.
You do not need to do anything before you have this test.
The health professional drawing blood will:
The blood sample is taken from a vein in your arm. An elastic band is wrapped around your upper arm. It may feel tight. You may feel nothing at all from the needle, or you may feel a quick sting or pinch.
There is very little chance of a problem from having a blood sample taken from a vein.
The normal values listed here—called a reference range—are just a guide. These ranges vary from lab to lab, and your lab may have a different range for what's normal. Your lab report should contain the range your lab uses. Also, your doctor will evaluate your results based on your health and other factors. This means that a value that falls outside the normal values listed here may still be normal for you or your lab.
The results listed below are normal values for adults. Children have different values than adults. Results are ready in several days.
60–400 milligrams per decilitre (mg/dL) or 600–4,000 milligrams per litre (mg/L)
700–1,500 mg/dL or 7.0–15.0 grams per litre (g/L)
60–300 mg/dL or 600–3,000 mg/L
0–14 mg/dL or 0–140 mg/L
3–423 international units per millilitre (IU/mL) or 3–423 kilo-international units per litre (kIU/L)
Reasons you may not be able to have the test or why the results may not be helpful include:
CitationsFischbach FT, Dunning MB III, eds. (2009). Manual of Laboratory and Diagnostic Tests, 8th ed. Philadelphia: Lippincott Williams and Wilkins.Other Works ConsultedChernecky CC, Berger BJ (2008). Laboratory Tests and Diagnostic Procedures, 5th ed. St. Louis: Saunders.Fischbach FT, Dunning MB III, eds. (2009). Manual of Laboratory and Diagnostic Tests, 8th ed. Philadelphia: Lippincott Williams and Wilkins.Pagana KD, Pagana TJ (2010). Mosby's Manual of Diagnostic and Laboratory Tests, 4th ed. St. Louis: Mosby Elsevier.
Current as of: September 23, 2020
Author: Healthwise StaffMedical Review: E. Gregory Thompson MD - Internal MedicineDonald Sproule MDCM, CCFP - Family MedicineAdam Husney MD - Family MedicineMartin J. Gabica MD - Family MedicineJoseph O'Donnell MD - Hematology, Oncology
Current as of: September 23, 2020
Author: Healthwise Staff
Medical Review:E. Gregory Thompson MD - Internal Medicine & Donald Sproule MDCM, CCFP - Family Medicine & Adam Husney MD - Family Medicine & Martin J. Gabica MD - Family Medicine & Joseph O'Donnell MD - Hematology, Oncology
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