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Understanding Your Lab Results

Multiple myeloma is a cancer of the blood—and the results of blood and other lab tests are important for diagnosing and monitoring multiple myeloma.

Your doctor or nurse will need to test your blood or urine on a regular schedule to see exactly how multiple myeloma affects you. These lab tests will help tell your doctor or nurse if your multiple myeloma is under control.

Below is a list of lab tests that are commonly used to keep an eye on multiple myeloma. Use the chart to help you better understand your results. Many of these terms and tests may be unfamiliar—you can read more about them in the glossary.

As you review these charts, please remember that “normal” ranges may vary slightly from lab to lab. Always rely on your doctor for a full explanation of what your results may mean.

Laboratory Assessment

Normal Rangea

Serum Protein Electrophoresis

Normal rangea
6-8 g/dL
3.3-5.7 g/dL
0.1-0.4 g/dL
0.3-0.9 g/dL
0.7-1.5 g/dL
0.5-1.4 g/dL

Immunoglobulin, Serum

Normal rangea
61-356 mg/dL
76​7-​15​90 mg/dL
37-286 mg/dL

Chemistry Profile

Blood urea nitrogen (BUN)
Normal rangea7-20 mg/dL
Normal rangea0.6-1.3 mg/dL
Normal rangea9-10.5 mg/dL
Creatinine clearance
Normal rangea
Males: 97-137 mL/min
Females: 88-128 mL/min
Glucose, fasting
Normal rangea70-100 mg/dL
Lactate dehydrogenase (LDH)
Normal rangea105-333 IU/L
Estimated glomerular filtration rate (eGFR)
Normal rangea
90-120 mL/min/1.73 m2

Serum-Free Light Chains

Free kappa
Normal rangea3.3-19.4 mg/dL
Free lambda
Normal rangea5.71-26.3 mg/dL
Kappa/lambda ratio
Normal rangea0.26-1.65
β2 -Microglobulin (B2M)
Normal rangea0.70-1.80 mg/dL

Complete Blood Count (CBC) With Differential

White blood cell count (WBC)
Normal rangea3.5-10.5 x 109/L
Red blood cell count (RBC)
Normal rangea
Males: 4.32-5.72 x 1012/L
Females: 3.90-5.03 x 1012/L
Hemoglobin (Hgb)
Normal rangea
Males: 13.5-17.5 g/dL (135-175 g/L)
Females: 12.0-15.5 g/dL (120-155 g/L)
Hematocrit (HCT)
Normal rangea
Males: 38.8%-50.0%
Females: 34.9%-44.5%
Mean corpuscular volume (MCV)
Normal rangea79.0-101.0 fL
Mean corpuscular hemoglobin (MCH)
Normal rangea25.0-35.0 pg
Mean corpuscular hemoglobin concentration (MCHC)
Normal rangea31.0-37.0 g/dL
Red blood cell distribution width (RDW)
Normal rangea11.0%-16.0%
Normal rangea150-450 x 109/L
Normal rangea24%-44%
Normal rangea1.0%-10.0%
Absolute neutrophil count (ANC)
Normal rangea1.7-7.0 x 109/L

Urine protein electrophoresis

<167 mg/24 hours
<5 mg/dL

aLab values are ranges based on individual labs; values may vary slightly from lab to lab.

Always discuss your test results with your healthcare team and make sure to ask questions to fully understand what they mean.

Related information

Understanding Your Blood Tests

An introduction to common multiple myeloma blood tests and why they may be needed.

Glossary of Multiple Myeloma Terms

Learn about all the different terms to help you better understand multiple myeloma.

Talking With Your Doctor About Multiple Myeloma

Get tips and sample discussion questions to help prepare you for your next doctor visit.

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