Less IgA than a newborn…

It’s a rainy day in Florence, and I am alone in the house (as “alone” as one can be with four cats, hah!…they are napping now, gathering up enough strength to totter downstairs for some lunch…), so it’s a perfect morning to do some research. I am working on at least four different topics that I find enthralling. But right now I would like to post about something different.

Yesterday I wrote a post to the MMA patient mailing list (by the way, you may sign up for it by clicking on the link in my Blogroll, just scroll down until you reach: "Join the MMA myeloma patients’ listserv") asking a question about my recent test results. I got many useful replies, some in private, some in public.

A very interesting reply was posted by one of my blog readers. This morning I wrote to him asking for permission to post his reply on my blog as well, and he kindly consented. So here goes:

“Immunoglobulins are produced by B-lymphocytes. The faulty ones produce monoclonal immunoglobulins or parts thereof. Immunoglobulin-G is the most prominent type. A molecule decays, after 21 days typically half will have been reabsorbed by the body. The IgG count is the total concentration of immunoglobulin-G in mg/dl, normal and monoclonal. The m-spike is a measure of only the monoclonal Ig. In normal individuals IgG counts are as given below. 

Reference values for normal immunoglobulins
in mg/dL
1 – 50
200 – 1070
0 – 80
1 – 6 months
2 – 80
200 – 1070
25 – 150
7 – 12 months
8 – 90
200 – 1070
25 – 150
1 – 6 years
15 – 160
340 – 1240
45 – 250
7 – 12 years
35 – 250
650 – 1600
45 – 250
12 years and up
40 – 350
650 – 1600
50 – 300

A rise of the IgG may be caused by acute or chronic infections and does not necessarily mean increased MM. A change in m-spike may reflect a change in MM plasma cell concentration. Remember that the IgG number or m-spike is always somewhat inaccurate, so a small change may simply be due to a uncontrolled variation in the measurement procedure.”

Interesting. As for the issue of "molecule decay," I will be looking more deeply into it and will ask my haematologist about it on Wednesday. For now, I will leave it pending. Well, this has certainly been an interesting exchange. I now have plenty of fodder for thought. But it’s time for lunch so I am getting off the computer.

One last comment: thanks to this chart, I found out that I have less IgA than a newborn, and as much IgM as a newborn (barely)! Ahhhh, I feel so young, today…hmmm, almost…newly born! 


  1. That’s really interesting. This thing of the 21 days…. does it mean that if you get a cold 15 days before your blood tests (and then recover) your test will still ‘show’ the IgG of the cold?


  2. Margaret

    Not sure if I mentioned it but I have been diagnosed with Bicolonial IgA Kappa light chain, all I have found out is that bicolonial IgA is in a minority, have you come across anything?? also my measurements don’t seem to be measured the same, my last readings in December were IgA 20.4 IgG 5.1(boosted by IgG infusioned) and IgM0.18.
    I think I need to muliple my results by 100 to match the above reference table . Any thoughts.


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