The globulin test, also known as globulin electrophoresis, is used to examine the amount of protein known as globulins present in the blood serum.
The test is recommended to diagnose certain protein related disorders. There are many different types of proteins present in the body and each of these proteins has a specific function in the body. For example, hemoglobin, enzymes and other proteins, all have their specific roles. Similarly, the blood plasma contains serum and two different proteins namely albumin and globulin.
These globulins are divided into three different categories-the alpha, beta, and the gamma globulins. To measure each of these globulins separately, an electrophoresis technique is used. Most of the antibodies are present in the gamma globulin because of which the gamma globulin test is all the more important.
This is a blood test in which blood is taken from a vein. After the blood is collected, electric current is passed through the fluid part of the blood, also known as serum. The serum is placed on a special paper for this, and as the electricity passes through it, the proteins begin to move and form bands. The different kinds of proteins present in the blood separate out into these bands and the amount of each of these proteins is noted. The amount of the protein fraction of globulins is then compared to the amount of proteins in the other bands.
The test is usually done on an empty stomach so you are recommended to fast for at least four hours before you take the test. If you are taking any medicines, you should discuss it with your doctor before you take the test. Doing so will make sure that the test results are accurate. The normal values for the test are 2.0 to 3.5 g/dL globulins in the serum.
A low level of globulin in the blood suggests risk of multiple myeloma, acute infection, Chronic inflammatory disease, hyperimmunization, and Waldenstrom's macroglobulinemia.
There is also a thyroid globulin test which is used to track the effectiveness of the treatment of thyroid cancer. In fact, the test is also often used to track risk of a recurrence. Though thyroglobulin is not produced in every type of thyroid cancer, it is produced in the most common types of thyroid cancers like papillary cancer and follicular thyroid cancer. To maintain accuracy for the tests, a thyroglobulin antibody test is also prescribed with the thyroglobulin test.