Immunoglobulin M Test

immunoglobulin M

Last Updated December 20th, 2021

What is Immunoglobulin?

Immunoglobulin is the type of protein produced by plasma cells and leukocytes which functions as an antibody. It plays an important role in the body’s immune system by latching on to foreign substances like harmful bacteria and other microbes and destroying them. Immunoglobulins either reside on the periphery of the cell or it can even more freely in the blood. When circulating in the blood, immunoglobulins are termed as antibodies.

What is Immunoglobulin M?

Immunoglobulin M is the largest and the first produced antibody which helps in the prevention or fighting of any new antigens or microbes in the body. It is predominantly found in the blood and the lymph fluid. It is also termed as the body’s natural antibody since it has the ability to latch on to the specific antigens without any previous immunization. It has a very fast response to any foreign substance. This fast immune response is initiated by neutralising the pathogens directly.

What is Immunoglobulin M test?

The Immunoglobulin M test is used to measure and monitor the level of Immunoglobulin M antibodies in the blood. This test is used to evaluate a person’s immune system. The Immunoglobulin M Test is also used for assessing and monitoring the levels of other immunoglobulin proteins which function as antibodies.

When should I undergo the Immunoglobulin M Test?

If you are noticing any of the symptoms listed below, it is highly recommended to go for the Immunoglobulin M Test.

– Recurrent infections of the respiratory tract. 
– Sinusitis.
– Infection of the gastrointestinal tract.
– IgM deficiency.
– Elevated levels of IgM leading to lack of IgG levels.

What are the preparations needed for the Immunoglobulin M Test?

There are no specific preparations needed for conducting this test.

– No fasting is required. 
– There is no inclusion of any new medication needed.
– The medications you are already taking need not to be stopped.

What is the procedure of the blood test for Immunoglobulin M Test?

The Immunoglobulin M test is carried out using a blood sample which is collected by the process of venipuncture. The procedure is as follows:
– A tourniquet is wrapped around the upper arm to make the veins more prominent.

– A syringe or needle is used to draw blood by puncturing the vein.
The blood is drawn into the tube of the syringe. The tourniquet is unwrapped. An antiseptic is applied to the spot of venipuncture to avoid any infection.

– The spot of injection of the syringe is dabbed by a cotton swab or a bandage is put to stop any further bleeding. The blood sample is then sent to the laboratory for the Immunoglobulin M test.
In the case of infants, the blood sample is collected from the heels of the infant with a simple pinprick.

What is the procedure of the CSF(Cerebrospinal Fluid) test for Immunoglobulin M Test?

The procedure of collection of Cerebrospinal Fluid includes:
– You will be instructed to lie down on your side with the knees pulled closer to your chest and the chin bent downwards. The CSF can also be collected while you are sitting bent forward. The practitioner then applies a numbing cream or inject a numbing medicine(anaesthesia) in the lower back of the spinal cord.

– Once the area on your back is completely numb, a needle or a syringe is injected in between two vertebrae of the spinal cord. The CSF is collected inside the tube of the syringe. It can take about five minutes.

– You need to stay still as the cerebrospinal fluid is being withdrawn. As the CSF is collected, the area of the puncture is cleaned and bandaged. You might be asked to lie down on your back for an hour or two after the CSF(Cerebrospinal Fluid) sample collection. This will help you avoid getting any headache afterwards.

Is the Immunoglobulin M Test procedure painful?

There’s no pain associated with the collection of the blood sample. A person might feel a pin pricking sensation for a very brief moment after the test. The pain wears off within a few hours.

What are the risks of Immunoglobulin M blood Test?

There are no risks related to this test. The procedure of blood collection(venipuncture) might have some risks associated with it:

– Some people feel light-headed and dizzy after the blood is drawn.

– It might cause Hematoma (blood accumulating under the skin causing a lump or bruise).

– There might be pain associated with too many punctures for finding a vein.

What are the risks of Immunoglobulin M CSF(Cerebrospinal Fluid) Test?

– Discomfort or pain during the procedure.
– Bleeding into the spinal cord, particularly in people having a low platelet count (thrombocytopenia).
– Headache as a result of CSF leakage.
– Infection.
– Nerve damage.

What is the price of Immunoglobulin M Test in India?

The price of the Immunoglobulin M test in India ranges from Rs 1000 – 3000. It can vary with various locations around the country.

When will I get my results?

You will get your Immunoglobulin M Test within 24 to 36 hours of the test itself.

What does my Immunoglobulin M test result depict?

The clinical ranges of Immunoglobulin M antibody in the blood are elaborated in the table below:

Age; Clinical range;
0-1 years 0-145 mg/dL
1-3 years 19-146 mg/dL
4-6 years 24-210 mg/dL
7-9 years 31-208 mg/dL
10-11 years 31-179 mg/dL
12-13 years 35-239 mg/dL
14-15 years15-188 mg/dL
16-19 years 23-259 mg/dL
Older than 19 years40-230 mg/dL

What does it mean if I have high levels of immunoglobulin M antibodies in my blood?

If you have elevated levels of immunoglobulin M antibody, it indicates the following conditions:

– Macroglobulinemia
– Early viral hepatitis
– Rheumatoid arthritis
– Kidney damage (nephrotic syndrome)
– Parasite infection

Higher levels of immunoglobulin M antibody indicates the presence of a new infection.

What does it mean if I have lower levels of immunoglobulin M antibodies in my blood?

If you have abnormally lower levels of immunoglobulin M antibody, it indicates the following conditions:

– Multiple myelomas.
– Some types of leukaemia.
– In some inherited types of immune diseases.

How to interpret the CSF(Cerebrospinal Fluid) test result for the Immunoglobulin M Test?

The abnormalities in the result of CSF IgM Index indicates the following condition:

– Meningitis or encephalitis
– Recent or past central nervous system (CNS)
– Primary or metastatic CNS malignancies

If your Immunoglobulin M index results are abnormal, it doesn’t necessarily mean you have a medical condition needing treatment. Results can vary depending on various factors including your age and overall health conditions. The medicines you are taking also influence the CSF IgM results. It is always recommended to consult your doctor as you get the reports. He can suggest other tests if required.

Is the Immunoglobulin M test recommended for pregnant women?

Immunoglobulin M Test is highly suggested to a pregnant woman as a part of the routine checkup to assess the levels of the IgM antibodies in the blood. It monitors if the mother has any new infection which can affect the fetus as well as the mother.

Is the CSF(Cerebrospinal Fluid) collection for the Immunoglobulin M test safe for the mother and the fetus?

The collection of the CSF(Cerebrospinal Fluid) is completely safe for the mother and the fetus as well at any part of pregnancy. It doesn’t pose any threat of miscarriage

Is the Immunoglobulin M test safe for newborns?

The Immunoglobulin M Test is totally safe for the newborns since the test involves just the collection of a blood sample. In the case of newborns, the blood is collected by pinpricking the heels. This test is highly recommended for newborns since it helps in the immediate detection of any infection present.

When are kids recommended to undergo Immunoglobulin M test?

Immunoglobulin M Test is suggested to the kids if the doctor suspects any infections caused by some abnormalities of the levels of Immunoglobulin M antibodies in the blood. This test is recommended especially for kids having recurrent infections.

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