Multiple myeloma can be accurately diagnosed in acute kidney injury patients using a rapid serum free light chain test

Jennifer Heaney, John Campbell, Punit Yadav, Ann Griffin, Meena Shemar, Jennifer Pinney, Mark Drayson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

10 Citations (Scopus)
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Background: Acute kidney injury (AKI) is common in patients with multiple myeloma (MM). Whether serum free light chain (sFLC) measurements can distinguish between myeloma and other causes of AKI requires confirmation to guide early treatment. A rapid and portable sFLC test (Seralite®) is newly available and could reduce delays in obtaining sFLC results and accelerate diagnosis in patients with unexplained AKI. This study evaluated the accuracy of Seralite® to identify MM as the cause of AKI.

Method: sFLCs were retrospectively analysed in patients with AKI stage 3 as per KDIGO criteria (i.e. serum creatinine ≥ 354 μmol/L or those on dialysis treatment) (n = 99); 45/99 patients had a confirmed MM diagnosis.

Results: The Seralite® κ:λ FLC ratio accurately diagnosed all MM patients in the presence of AKI: a range of 0.14–2.02 returned 100% sensitivity and specificity for identifying all non-myeloma related AKI patients. The sFLC difference (dFLC) also demonstrated high sensitivity (91%) and specificity (100%), an optimal cut-off of 399 mg/L distinguished between myeloma and nonmyeloma AKI patients. We propose a pathway of patient screening and stratification in unexplained
AKI for use of Seralite® in clinical practice, with a κ:λ ratio range of 0.14–2.02 and dFLC 400 mg/L as decision points.

Conclusions: Seralite® accurately differentiates between AKI due to MM and AKI due to other causes in patients considered at risk of myeloma. This rapid test can sensitively screen for MM in patients with AKI and help inform early treatment intervention.
Original languageEnglish
JournalBMC Nephrology
Issue number247
Publication statusPublished - 20 Jul 2017


  • myeloma
  • Acute kidney injury
  • renal impairment
  • serum free light chain
  • patient screening


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