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Diagnostic Tests

Bence Jones Protein Heat Precipitation Random Urine

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Bence Jones Protein Heat Precipitation Random Urine

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What is this test?

The Bence Jones protein heat precipitation random urine test is performed to detect the presence of abnormal proteins called Bence Jones proteins (BJP) in the urine by collecting a random urine sample. This test helps to determine whether you have multiple myeloma (a type of blood cancer) or not.

What is Bence Jones Protein (BJP)?

Bence Jones proteins (BJP) are discovered and named by a physician Henry Bence Jones in 1847. BJP is also known as M-proteins or myeloma proteins and is a component of immunoglobulin. Normally these proteins are not present in urine samples of healthy individuals. These proteins are antibodies made by cancerous tumors in individuals with cancer. Presence of these proteins in the urine is a sign of multiple myeloma, a type of blood cancer.

Multiple myelomas is a type of bone marrow cancer where there is too much production of white blood cells (WBC). WBC are immune system cells that make antibodies and fight against infections. But in individuals with multiple myeloma white blood cells grow out of control and release too much abnormal protein into the bones and blood. These abnormal proteins then result in organ damage. In bones, these cells activate osteoclasts (bone cells) to break down bones. The break down of bones results in high calcium levels in the blood which again cause many health problems.

These abnormal proteins show up in the urine in individuals with multiple myeloma. This cancer can cause many problems such as anemia (a condition due to lack of red blood cells), thrombocytopenia (a condition due to lack of platelets) and leukopenia (a condition due to lack of enough white blood cells).

Waldenstrom macroglobulinemia is a rare type of cancer where the cancer cells produce large amounts of an abnormal protein called macroglobulin. It is also similar to multiple myeloma. Individuals with this type of cancer may also show up the presence of BJP in their urine.

Therefore assessing the levels of Bence Jones proteins in the urine helps to determine whether you have multiple myeloma or not. It also helps to determine whether you have Waldenstrom macroglobulinemia.

Why this test is performed?

This test is one among many tests performed to determine whether you multiple myeloma or not. Your doctor may ask to perform this test if you have a family history of multiple myeloma or if you experience any signs and symptoms of multiple myeloma such as bone pain, high blood calcium levels, numbness, weakness, low levels of red or white blood cells or platelets, confusion, dizziness, swelling of legs, or infections etc. However, your doctor may ask to perform a few more additional tests along with this test to confirm the diagnosis.

You may also be asked to perform this test if your doctor suspects a rare type of cancer called Waldenstrom macroglobulinemia or if you experience any signs and symptoms of Waldenstrom macroglobulinemia such as weight loss, numbness in hands and feet, fever, headache, shortness of breath, changes in vision, confusion, etc.

How often this test is performed?

If you have a family history of multiple myeloma or cancers your doctor may ask to perform this test in a 6 monthly or a yearly basis. If you are diagnosed with multiple myeloma then you may have to perform this test on a regular basis as instructed by the doctor.

Also known as Bence Jones Test.

Test Preparation

Inform your doctor if you are on any medications, have any allergies or underlying medical conditions before your Bence Jones Protein Heat Precipitation Random Urine. Your doctor will give specific instructions depending on your condition on how to prepare for Bence Jones Protein Heat Precipitation Random Urine.

No specific preparation is required for this test. However, follow all the instructions given by your healthcare provider.

Understanding your test results

The test results may be vary depending on gender, age, and health conditions.

If the test results are positive or detect the presence of Bence Jones proteins in the urine it indicates that you may have multiple myeloma or a rare genetic condition called Waldenstrom macroglobulinemia. About 50 to 80 percent of individuals with multiple myeloma may show the presence of BJP in their urine. However, your doctor may ask to perform a few more additional tests along with this test to confirm the diagnosis.

Some individuals with lymphoma (cancer of lymph nodes) may also show the presence of BJP in their urine. Appropriate additional tests along with this test may also have to be performed to confirm the exact cause.

GenderAge groupsValue
UNISEXAll age groupsNormally absent, but present in case of Multiple Myeloma and other Gammopathies
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