Paraproteinemia is one of the diagnostic features of multiple myeloma. A commonly used method is the detection of paraprotein by agarose gel electrophoresis (AGE) followed by by immunofixation electrophoresis (IFE) to confirm monoclonality. Due to their smaller size, immunoglobulin A (IgA) and light chain only paraproteins may appear at the beta or even alpha 2 protein fractions. Here, we discuss a case report of a 47-year-old man who presented with pathological fracture of third thoracic (T3) vertebra. Serum protein electrophoresis (SPE) was initially reported as no paraprotein detected. However, a bone biopsy was reported to show plasma cell proliferation with light chain restriction. A repeat sample for protein electrophoresis together with IFE revealed lambda light chain paraprotein co-migrating at the beta region. The beta band plus paraprotein was quantitated as 4.3 g/L (7.0%), which was within normal limits of the beta protein fraction. Hence, it has to be remembered that if the SPE is negative, it does not necessarily mean that the paraprotein is absent in cases which are highly suspicious.
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