Beta 2 microglobulin is a small membrane protein (11,800 Dalton) associated with the heavy chains of class I major histocompatibility complex proteins and is, therefore on the surface of all nucleated cells. The small size allows beta 2 microglobulin to pass through the glomerular membrane, but it is almost completely reabsorbed in the proximal tubules.
Serum beta 2 microglobulin levels are elevated in diseases associated with increased cell turnover. Levels are also elevated in several benign conditions such as chronic inflammation, liver disease, renal dysfunction, some acute viral infections, and a number of malignancies, especially haematologic malignancies associated with the B-lymphocyte lineage.
Ambient (8 - 24 degrees Celsius)
Multiple myeloma: An indicator of prognosis, and for monitoring disease progress. The serum concentration correlates with the tumour cell mass.
Elevated serum levels can also occur with rheumatoid arthritis, systemic lupus erythematosus, and malignant lymphoma.
Renal failure: Beta-2 microglobulin is cleared by glomerular filtration and the serum concentration increases in parallel with serum creatinine in renal failure.
|Age (Yrs)||Minimum (mg/L)||Maximum (mg/L)|
Nephelometric immunoassay on Siemens BNII nephelometer.
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