What Is Beta 2 Microglobulin?
This beta-2 microglobulin test assesses the amount of a protein called beta-2 microglobulin (B2M) in the blood, urine, or cerebrospinal fluid (CSF). B2M is one type of tumor marker. Tumor markers are made by either cancer cells or healthy cells in a response to cancer in the body.
B2M is present on the surface of many cells and is released into the body. Wholesome and fit people possess small amounts of B2M in their blood and urine. People who are suffering from cancers of bone marrow and blood may have high levels of B2M in their blood or urine. These cancers could be multiple myeloma, lymphoma, and leukemia. High levels of B2M in cerebrospinal fluid indicate that your cancer has spread to the brain and spinal cord.
A B2M tumor marker is not relevant in diagnosing cancer. But it may offer adequate information about your cancer, including how severe it is and how it may thrive in the future.
The cost of the B2M test in India is Rs. 1050 to Rs.2000, depending on your location and place.
Please check the price of the B2M test in Delhi/NCR, your nearby centers and other details.
|Also known as||Total Beta-2 Microglobulin, β2-Microglobulin, B2M|
|Test Type||Blood Test, Urine Test|
|B2M test includes||To diagnose multiple myeloma, lymphoma, or leukemia.|
|Preparation||You don’t need any special preparations|
|Test price||The cost of the B2M test in India is Rs. 1050 to Rs.2000, depending on your location and place.|
|Also included in||Health Insurance Plans|
|Related tests||Kidney function test, biopsy test|
Why do you need this test?
Your doctor may refer to the beta-2 microglobulin tumor marker test if you are diagnosed with certain cancers of the bone marrow or blood. The test is beneficial under the following scenarios.
- Find out the severity of cancer and whether it is present in your body. This process is called cancer staging. The higher the stage, the more advanced the cancer is.
- Forecast disease development and offer the proper treatment method
- To monitor whether the cancer treatment is effective or not
- To check whether cancer has spread to the brain and spinal cord.
- The test may help your doctor to know the stage of your cancer and whether your cancer treatment is effective or not.
The Preparation for the Test
- No special preparations are needed for the blood or urine test.
- You don’t need any special preparations for CSF analysis. But your healthcare provider may ask you to empty the bladder and bowels before the test.
The Test Procedure
A beta-2 microglobulin test is commonly a blood test, but sometimes it could be a urine test or cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) analysis test.
For a B2M Blood Test
An experienced nurse or technician will collect your blood sample by inserting a needle into the vein of your upper arm. Once the needle is injected, a small amount of blood sample will be collected into a test tube or vial. You may feel pain or dizziness during the test. The test takes 5-10 minutes.
For a 24-hour Urine Sample
The lab or diagnostic center will give you a container where you need to collect your urine and all instructions regarding the sample collection and storage will be provided. A 24-hour urine sample test usually involves the following steps.
- Empty your bladder in the morning and flush that urine away. Record the time.
- Save all your urine in the given container for the next 24 hours
- Store your urine container in the refrigerator or a cooler with ice.
- Return the container to the laboratory
For a Cerebrospinal Fluid (CSF) Analysis
A procedure called spinal tap will be used to collect the sample of spinal fluid (also known as a lumbar puncture). A spinal tap is commonly performed in a hospital. During the procedure:
- You need to lie on your side or sit on an exam table
- A healthcare staff will clean your back and inject an anesthetic into your skin.
- You may not feel any pain or discomfort during the procedure. The staff may use a numbing cream on your back before injecting
- Once your back is numb, the person will insert a thin, hollow needle between two vertebrae in your lower spine.
- He will collect a small amount of cerebrospinal fluid for testing. The entire procedure will be completed within 5 minutes.
- Don’t move while the fluid is being withdrawn.
- The healthcare staff may ask you to lie down on your back for an hour or two after the procedure. Thus, you may not get a headache after the procedure.
The Test Results
The test will show whether your cancer is in your body or it has spread to other parts. The test is also effective in checking how well your treatment is working
- Your B2M levels are increasing: This indicates your cancer is spreading and the treatment is ineffective
- Your B2M levels are decreasing: This reveals your treatment is going properly
- Your B2M levels have not increased or decreased: This indicates your disease is steady.
- Your B2M levels decreased, but then later increased: This may mean your cancer has returned after the treatment
What are tumor markers?
Tumor markers are proteins that are produced by the cancer tissues or sometimes by the body to respond to the growth of cancer. These markers along with other tests are useful in detecting and diagnosing some types of cancer. These markers are also helpful in monitoring a person’s treatment detect reappearance.
Can I choose either a blood or a urine B2M test?
Depending on your condition, your doctor will suggest either a blood or a urine test. For staging of multiple myeloma, a blood test is recommended. Otherwise, you can go for a urine test or both together.
What does beta-2 microglobulin indicate?
An elevated level of B2M in the blood and urine indicates that there are some problems that need to be diagnosed. If someone has some signs of kidney disease, then uplifted levels of B2M in the blood and low levels in the urine may indicate that the disorder is related to glomerular dysfunction.
What causes high beta-2 microglobulin?
Certain conditions that are related to an increased rate of cell production or destruction may uplift the levels of beta-2 microglobulin. These conditions are,
1. Severe infections
2. Viral infections such as CMV (cytomegalovirus)
3. Conditions that activate the immune system, such as inflammatory conditions and autoimmune disorders