Serum free light-chain measurements for identifying and monitoring patients with nonsecretory multiple myeloma

Blood. 2001 May 1;97(9):2900-2. doi: 10.1182/blood.v97.9.2900.


Using sensitive, automated immunoassays, increased concentrations of either kappa or lambda free light chains (and abnormal kappa/lambda ratios) were detected in the sera of 19 of 28 patients with nonsecretory multiple myeloma. Four other patients had suppression of one or both light chains, and the remaining 5 sera had normal or raised free light-chain concentrations with substantially normal kappa/lambda ratios. Six of the patients with an elevated single free light chain, who were studied during follow-up, had changes in disease activity that were reflected by the changes in free light-chain concentrations. It is concluded that quantification of free light chains in serum should prove useful for the diagnosis and monitoring of many patients with nonsecretory myeloma.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Culture Media, Serum-Free
  • Humans
  • Immunoassay
  • Immunoglobulin kappa-Chains / blood*
  • Immunoglobulin kappa-Chains / immunology
  • Immunoglobulin lambda-Chains / blood*
  • Monitoring, Physiologic
  • Multiple Myeloma / blood*
  • Multiple Myeloma / immunology*


  • Culture Media, Serum-Free
  • Immunoglobulin kappa-Chains
  • Immunoglobulin lambda-Chains