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Globulins, Serum

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The determination of serum globulins is mainly used for the diagnosis and monitoring of patients with monoclonal gammopathies and other pathological conditions.

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Globulins are plasma proteins that are formed mainly in the liver, but also in the lymphatic and reticuloendothelial system. There are three types of protein in the globulin family: alpha, beta and gamma.

  • α1 globulins include α1-antitrypsin, α1-acid glycoprotein, α-fetal protein (αFP), cortisol-binding protein and thyroxine-binding globulin.
  • α2 globulins include haptoglobin, α2-macroglobulin and seruloplasmin.
  • B-globulins include transferrin, β-lipoproteins, and complement components.
  • γ globulins include IgG, IgA, IgM, IgD and IgE immunoglobulins.

Functions served by the globulins include regulating the acid-base balance, the transport of blood components such as lipids, vitamins, hormones, iron, copper and various enzymes as well as antibody activity.

Possible Interpretations of Pathological Values
  • Increase in α-globulins: Acute phase response to inflammation (α1, α haptoglobin), acute rheumatic fever (α2), age (α2), albuminemia (α2), chronic glomerulonephritis (α2), cirrhosis (increased α1 with normal or only slightly increased α2), diabetes mellitus (α2), familial idiopathic dysproteinemia, glomerular protein loss (α2 macroglobulin), liver damage, hepatic metastases (increased α1 with normal α2), Hodgkin's disease (α1, β2), α2 is dominated by macroglobulin), acute infection, meningitis (α2), metastases carcinoma (α1, α2), myocardial infarction, myxoid edema, nephrosis (α2), nephrotic syndrome (α2), osteomyelitis (α2), peptic ulcer (α1, α2), pneumonia (α2), osteoporosis, (increase in α1 with normal α2), enteropathy with loss of protein (α1, α2), rheumatoid arthritis (α2), sarcoidosis (α2), stress (α1, α2), systemic lupus erythematosus (α2), ulcerative colitis (α1) ). Medications: Estrogens (increase α1 with little change to α2)
  • Increased β-globulins: Acute phase response (β2), analbuminemia, diabetes mellitus (poorly controlled), familial idiopathic dystrophinemia, glomerular protein loss, viral hepatitis, hypercholesterolemia, pregnancy (β1), rheumatoid arthritis, sarcoidosis. Medications: Estrogens, oral contraceptives (increase beta1)
  • Increase in γ-globulins: Acute viral hepatitis (sometimes), amyloidosis, albuminemia, advanced carcinoma, chronic hepatitis (oligoclonal zones), chronic hepatic disease (IgM), chronic lymphoglycemic leukemia (IgM), bands), cirrhosis (IgA), cryoglobinemia, cystic fibrosis (IgG, IgA), Hashimoto's disease, liver disease, Hodgkin's disease, hypergammaglobulinemia, hypersensitivity reaction, severe infection, juvenile Ig rheumatoid arthritis (myelogenous, monocellular), lymphosarcoma (IgM paraprotein), macroglobulinemia, multiple myeloma, respiratory tract (IgA) infection, rheumatoid arthritis (IgA, IgM), sarcoidosis, scleroderma (sometimes Ig), skin disease (Ig), skin disease (S), lupus erythematosus (IgM), Waldenstrom's macroglobulinemia (IgM paroprotein)


  • Decrease of α-globulins: Acute viral hepatitis (α1, α2), congenital hypo-hemoglobinemia (α2-apoglobulin), liver disease, intravascular hemolysis (hemolytic anemia, liver metastases, cirrhosis, splenomegaly 2), scleroderma, starvation, steatorrhea
  • Decrease of B-Globulin: Autoimmune Disease, Metastatic Cancer, Liver Disease (β1), Immune Complex Disease (β2), Leukemia (Lymphogenic, Monocytic, Myelogenous), Lymphoma, Malabsorption, Malignancy (β1), Malignancy, B1, staterorrhea, systemic lupus erythematosus, ulcerative colitis
  • Decrease of γ-globins: Acute viral hepatitis (sometimes), amamoglobinemia, glomerular protein loss, hypogammaglobulinemia, lymphatic leukemia, lymphoma, nephrosis, nephrotic syndrome, malabsorption, steroids, enteropathy, enteropathy colitis.


Important Note

Laboratory test results are the most important parameter for the diagnosis and monitoring of all pathological conditions. 70%-80% of diagnostic decisions are based on laboratory tests. Correct interpretation of laboratory results allows a doctor to distinguish "healthy" from "diseased".

Laboratory test results should not be interpreted from the numerical result of a single analysis. Test results should be interpreted in relation to each individual case and family history, clinical findings and the results of other laboratory tests and information. Your personal physician should explain the importance of your test results.

At Diagnostiki Athinon we answer any questions you may have about the test you perform in our laboratory and we contact your doctor to get the best possible medical care.

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