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Protein electrophoresis is a test that measures specific proteins in the blood. The test separates proteins in the blood based on their electrical charge. The protein electrophoresis test is often used to find abnormal substances called M proteins. The presence of M proteins can be a sign of a type of cancer called myeloma, or multiple myeloma. Myeloma affects white blood cells called plasma cells in the bone marrow. Protein electrophoresis also tests for other proteins and antibodies (immunoglobulins).
The protein electrophoresis test is also used to diagnose other conditions affecting the plasma cells. These include Waldenström macroglobulinemia, monoclonal gammopathy of undetermined significance (MGUS), and primary amyloidosis.