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Immunoglobulin M (IgM)

One of the five classes of immunoglobulins; a large molecule, it is found in blood and is involved in combating blood infections. It is the first or primary immunoglobulin produced following exposure to an antigen.

Immunoglobulin M (IgM)

Immunoglobulin M (IgM), which is found mainly in the blood and lymph fluid, is the first antibody to be made by the body to fight a new infection.


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  • Fresh serum of the patient is needed.
  • Analyze the sample as soon as possible or can store at 4 °C for a few hours (less than 72 hours).
  • The sample is stable at -20 °C for 6 months.


  1. Used to detect monoclonal gammopathy.
  2. It is advised in immune deficiencies.

Normal Value:

  • Adult = 55 to 375 mg/dL
  • Children = 20 to 200 mg/dL

Decreased level of IgM seen in:

  • Decreased level seen in congenital deficiency diseases.

Increased level of IgM seen in :

  1. Elevations of IgM may be due to polyclonal immunoglobulin production which was seen in various infections.
  2. An isolated increase in IgM level may be seen in viral infections e.g. Viral hepatitis, infectious mononucleosis, and early response to bacterial or parasitic infection.
  3. Increased level of IgM may be seen in Rheumatoid arthritis, biliary cirrhosis, and some other chronic disorders.
  4. Raised levels are also seen in Hyper IgM dysgammaglobulinemia, active sarcoidosis, collagen vascular diseases, nephrotic syndrome.
  5. Monoclonal  raised levels are seen in :
    1. Waldenstrom’s globulinemia.
    2. Lymphomas.

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