Falsely Elevated Plasma Creatinine Due to an Immunoglobulin M Paraprotein

Mitchell R. McGill, Anitha Vijayan, Elbert P. Trulock, Chad A. Witt, Giselle D. Kohler, Mitchell G. Scott

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

14 Scopus citations


The most common method for measuring plasma creatinine is based on its reaction with picric acid. However, enzymatic methods are becoming more popular due to improved specificity. We present a case of falsely elevated plasma creatinine values obtained by an enzymatic method that turned out to be due to a monoclonal immunoglobulin M (IgM) paraprotein. A 63-year-old woman evaluated for lung transplantation had falsely increased plasma creatinine levels (1.54-1.71 mg/dL; corresponding to estimated glomerular filtration rates of 32-36 mL/min/1.73 m2) as measured by the Roche Creatinine plus enzymatic assay when compared with the picric acid–based procedure and several other enzymatic methods, which gave plasma creatinine values of 0.7 to 0.8 mg/dL. Serum protein electrophoresis revealed an IgM κ light chain paraprotein. Removal of high-molecular-weight (>30 kDa) proteins by ultrafiltration reduced the patient's plasma creatinine level by the Roche enzymatic method to 0.7 mg/dL. Addition of the patient's immunoglobulin fraction to plasma from other patients with normal plasma creatinine levels resulted in values that were increased by 0.58 to 0.62 mg/dL. Furthermore, removal of non-IgM immunoglobulins with protein G–coupled beads did not eliminate the interference from the patient's plasma. Taken together, these studies demonstrate that falsely elevated plasma creatinine values by the Roche enzymatic method can be due to an IgM paraprotein.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)789-792
Number of pages4
JournalAmerican Journal of Kidney Diseases
Issue number5
StatePublished - Nov 1 2016


  • IgM
  • Jaffe method
  • Plasma creatinine
  • Roche Creatinine plus
  • artifact
  • enzymatic method
  • estimated glomerular filtration rate (eGFR)
  • immunoglobulin M paraprotein
  • laboratory assay
  • measurement error
  • protein interference
  • renal function


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