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Study on the Mechanism of False Low Measurement of IgG-Binding (Affinity) IgM Type M Protein by Turbidimetric Immunoassay by Mayumi Imoto, Toshinori Kamisako, Katsunori Watanabe, Toshiyuki Yamada

Background: The purpose of this study was to investigate the immunological and physical characteristics of IgM-λ type M-protein from patients who were measured low in the turbidimetric immunoassay (TIA) IgM assay without error codes for high concentration to determine the cause of the false low levels and to clarify the mechanism of their occurrence.
Methods: Materials were IgM patient samples and 8 serum samples from other IgM M-protein patients as controls. Patient samples were assayed by the TIA method, in which five manufacturers and six models (two reagent manufacturers) share the principle, and the BN ProSpec method (nephelometric method), which has a different principle. Dilution linearity tests, IgG addition experiments, isoelectric point electrophoresis, and hydrophobic chromatography were performed on patients and subjects. In addition, the binding capacity of γ-globulin by BIACORE was also examined.
Results: The reaction curve of the patient IgM curved downward when the concentration of IgM exceeded 20 g/L, and no error code was obtained. In the measurement by the TIA method of five manufacturers and six models, patient IgM was measured at a false low level with no error code obtained in undiluted dilution by any of the instruments and reagents, but could be measured without any problem by the nephelometric method. In addition, in the patient IgG addition experiment, only patient IgM showed a false low level under high IgG concentration. Furthermore, the binding capacity of patient IgM to γ-globulin (IgG) by BIACORE was significantly higher than that of the control IgM-type M protein.
Conclusions: Patient IgM has an affinity (binding capacity) for IgG and forms an IgM-IgG complex under conditions of high IgG concentration. It was speculated that this complex inhibited the reaction with the anti-IgM antibody and the absorbance of the second reaction did not increase, suggesting a false low.

DOI: 10.7754/Clin.Lab.2022.220203