A multicentre study comparing two methods for serum free light chain analysis

Lock, RJ, Saleem, R, Roberts, EG, Wallage, MJ, Pesce, TJ, Rowbottom, Anthony, Cooper, SJ, McEvoy, ED, Taylor, JL et al (2013) A multicentre study comparing two methods for serum free light chain analysis. Annals of Clinical Biochemistry, 50 (3). pp. 255-261. ISSN 0004-5632

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Official URL: https://doi.org/10.1177%2F0004563212473447



Serum free light chain analysis is now well established in the investigation of monoclonal gammopathies. In the UK there has, until recently, been a single supplier of kits for such analysis. Recently, a second method using monoclonal antisera was introduced. We have compared the performance of these two kits in four routine laboratories.


Samples submitted for routine analysis (327 samples, 258 [79%] from patients with B-cell lymphoproliferative disease) for serum free light chains were tested by both technologies (Freelite, Binding Site and N Latex FLC, Siemens), according to the manufacturers’ instructions.


Qualitative data were available by both methods on 313 samples for serum free kappa chains and 324 samples for lambda free light chains. We found poor correspondence of 81% for kappa and 74% for lambda. Five percent of samples were significantly discordant in these assays.


These assays perform very differently in clinical practice. They cannot be used interchangeably, especially if monitoring patient responses to therapy.

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