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Adv Clin Chem ; 108: 155-209, 2022.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1432691


Free light chain (FLC) kappa (k) and lambda (λ) consist of low molecular weight proteins produced in excess during immunoglobulin synthesis and secreted into the circulation. In patients with normal renal function, over 99% of FLCs are filtered and reabsorbed. Thus, the presence of FLCs in the serum is directly related to plasma cell activity and the balance between production and renal clearance. FLCs are bioactive molecules that may exist as monoclonal (m) and polyclonal (p) FLCs. These have been detected in several body fluids and may be key indicators of ongoing damage and/or illness. International guidelines now recommend mFLC for screening, diagnosis and monitoring multiple myeloma and other plasma cell dyscrasias. In current clinical practice, FLCs in urine indicate cast nephropathy and other renal injury, whereas their presence in cerebrospinal fluid is important for identifying central nervous system inflammatory diseases such as multiple sclerosis. Increased pFLCs have also been detected in various conditions characterized by B cell activation, i.e., chronic inflammation, autoimmune disease and HCV infection. Monitoring the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic by analysis of salivary FLCs presents a significant opportunity in clinical immunology worthy of scientific pursuit.

COVID-19 , Immunoglobulin lambda-Chains , Biomarkers , COVID-19/diagnosis , Humans , Immunoglobulin Light Chains/urine , Immunoglobulin kappa-Chains/urine , Immunoglobulin lambda-Chains/urine