Quantitative Bence-Jones protein testImmunoglobulin light chains - urine; Urine Bence-Jones protein
This test measures the level of abnormal proteins called Bence-Jones proteins in the urine.
How the Test is Performed
A clean-catch urine sample is needed. The clean-catch method is used to prevent germs from the penis or vagina from getting into a urine sample. To collect your urine, the health care provider may give you a special clean-catch kit that contains a cleansing solution and sterile wipes. Follow instructions exactly so that the results are accurate.
Clean-catch urine sample
A clean catch is a method of collecting a urine sample to be tested. The clean-catch urine method is used to prevent germs from the penis or vagina ...
The sample is sent to the lab. There, one of many methods is used to detect Bence-Jones proteins. One method, called immunoelectrophoresis, is the most accurate.
The urine protein electrophoresis (UPEP) test is used to estimate how much of certain proteins are in the urine.
How the Test will Feel
The test involves only normal urination, and there is no discomfort.
Why the Test is Performed
Bence-Jones proteins are a part of regular antibodies called light chains. These proteins are not normally in urine. Sometimes, when your body makes too many antibodies, the level of light chains also rises. Bence-Jones proteins are small enough to be filtered out by the kidneys. The proteins then spill into the urine.
An antibody is a protein produced by the body's immune system when it detects harmful substances, called antigens. Examples of antigens include micr...
Your provider may order this test:
- To diagnose conditions that lead to protein in the urine
- If you have a lot of protein in your urine
- If you have signs of a blood cancer called multiple myeloma
A normal result means no Bence-Jones proteins are found in your urine.
What Abnormal Results Mean
Bence-Jones proteins are rarely found in urine. If they are, it is usually associated with multiple myeloma.
Multiple myeloma is a blood cancer that starts in the plasma cells in the bone marrow. Bone marrow is the soft, spongy tissue found inside most bone...
An abnormal result may also be due to:
- An abnormal buildup of proteins in tissues and organs (amyloidosis)
- Blood cancer called chronic lymphocytic leukemia
- Lymph system cancer (lymphoma)
- Buildup in the blood of a protein called M-protein (monoclonal gammopathy of unknown significance; MGUS)
- White blood cell cancer called Waldenström macroglobulinemia
There are no risks with this test.
Chernecky CC, Berger BJ. Protein electrophoresis – urine. In: Chernecky CC, Berger BJ, eds. Laboratory Tests and Diagnostic Procedures. 6th ed. Philadelphia, PA: Elsevier; 2013:920-923.
Riley RS, McPherson RA. Basic examination of urine. In: McPherson RA, Pincus MR, eds. Henry's Clinical Diagnosis and Management by Laboratory Methods. 23rd ed. Philadelphia, PA: Elsevier; 2017:chap 28.
Review Date: 5/20/2016
Reviewed By: Todd Gersten, MD, Hematology/Oncology, Florida Cancer Specialists & Research Institute, Wellington, FL. Review provided by VeriMed Healthcare Network. Also reviewed by David Zieve, MD, MHA, Isla Ogilvie, PhD, and the A.D.A.M. Editorial team.