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Laboratory: Clinical Immunology
Test Name:
Test Code: IGM
Clinical Information:
Alternate Name(s): Gamma-Globulins Quantitative, IgM (Immunoglobulin M)

Aid in diagnosis or monitoring of monoclonal gammopathies and immune deficiencies.
IgM is the first class of immunoglobulin synthesized in response to particulate antigens. Each unit consists of two mu heavy chains and two light chains, five units together with a J-chain comprising an IgM molecule. IgM is therefore multivalent and deals most efficiently with polyvalent antigens such as bacteria and viruses. IgM also activates complement. On active immunization IgM rapidly appears in serum, but levels normally drop after a week, usually in parallel with the increase in IgG. Normal serum levels are dependent on age. Raised serum levels are associated with hepatitis, myeloma, Waldenström’s macroglobulinemia and other infections. Reduced levels can occur in antibody deficiency syndrome.
Values should be used in conjunction with other laboratory and clinical findings.
Collection Devices:
Specimen Required:
Serum: 1.0 mL
Pediatric Serum: 0.5 mL

Refrigerated: 14 days
Frozen: 30 days
Serum: 1.0 mL
Pediatric Serum: 0.5 mL

Shipping & Storage: Separate serum and ship refrigerated, or frozen if greater than 7 days from time of collection.

Testing Laboratory (MB): Health Sciences Centre Immunology Laboratory

The volumes listed are sufficient to perform quantitation of IgG, IgA, IgM
Reference Values:
Age (yrs) g/L
0 - 2 0.21 – 2.15
3 – 4 0.26 – 1.55
5 – 9 0.26 – 1.88
10 – 14 0.47 – 2.52
15 – 18 0.26 – 2.32
Adult 19+ 0.35 – 2.42
Pediatric reference values adopted from Garcia-Prat M, Vila-Pijoan G, Martos Gutierrez S, et al. Age-specific pediatric reference ranges for immunoglobulins and complement proteins on the Optilite™ automated turbidimetric analyzer. J Clin Lab Anal. 2018;32:e22420.
Adult reference values adopted from Binding Site, Optilite IgM Kit, INS012.OPT, ver 11th August 2015.

Method of Analysis: Turbidimetry – Binding Site Optilite
See Also:
More Information:
Reportable Range: 0.10 – 150.00 g/L
Undetected antigen excess is a rare event but cannot be excluded. If these results do not agree with other clinical or laboratory findings, or if the sample is from a patient that has previously demonstrated antigen excess, the result must be checked by retesting at a higher sample dilution. Results should always be interpreted in conjunction with other laboratory tests and clinical evidence; any anomalies should be discussed with the laboratory.