The utility of MASS-FIX to detect and monitor monoclonal proteins in the clinic

Paolo Milani, David L. Murray, David R. Barnidge, Mindy C. Kohlhagen, John R. Mills, Giampaolo Merlini, Surendra Dasari, Angela Dispenzieri

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

55 Scopus citations


The detection and quantification of monoclonal-proteins (M-proteins) are necessary for the diagnosis and evaluation of response in plasma cell dyscrasias. Immunoglobulin enrichment-coupled with matrix-assisted laser desorption ionization time-of-flight mass-spectrometry (MASS-FIX) is a simple and inexpensive method to identify M-proteins, but its clinical generalizability has not yet been elucidated. We compared MASS-FIX to protein electrophoresis (PEL), serum/urine immunofixation-electrophoresis (IFE), and quantitative serum free-light chain (FLC) for the identification of M-proteins in different clinical diagnoses. Paired serum and urine samples from 257 patients were tested. There were six patients for whom s-IFE and FLC ratio were positive and serum MASS-FIX was negative, but when serum and urine MASS-FIX results were combined, only one patient with light chain-MGUS was missed. Serum/urine-MASS-FIX detected M-proteins in 18 patients with negative serum/urine-PEL/IFE and serum-FLC, 10 of whom had multiple myeloma or AL amyloidosis, who were mistakenly thought to have complete hematologic response by serum/urine-PEL/IFE and serum-FLC. Nearly half of the AL amyloidosis patients had atypical spectra, which may prove to be a clue to the diagnosis and pathogenesis of the disease. In conclusion, MASS-FIX has a comparable sensitivity with PEL/IFE/FLC methods and can help inform the clinical diagnosis.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)772-779
Number of pages8
JournalAmerican journal of hematology
Issue number8
StatePublished - Aug 2017

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Hematology


Dive into the research topics of 'The utility of MASS-FIX to detect and monitor monoclonal proteins in the clinic'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this