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What is the Beta-2 Microglobulin Test for CLL?
Posted: Feb 22, 2024
What is the Beta-2 Microglobulin Test for CLL? image

According to the NCCN CLL patient guidelines, one of the recommended tests for CLL patients is called the beta-2 microglobulin (B2M) test. 

What is the Beta-2 Microglobulin Test? 

The beta-2 microglobulin test checks for CLL cell growth. CLL cells release a surface protein called beta-2 microglobulin (B2M) into the blood when they replicate. CLL cells release more of the B2M protein than regular cells. Doctors use the B2M test to assess how much cancer is in your body and how fast it is growing. 

Are There Other Conditions That Affect B2M Levels? 

Apart from CLL, B2M levels may be higher for patients with kidney disease, HIV/AIDS, or multiple sclerosis. 

How Does the B2M Test Work? 

The test measures the concentration of B2M in the blood through a simple blood test. A healthcare professional will draw a sample of blood, usually from a vein in your arm. The sample will be sent to a laboratory for analysis. 

There is a version of the B2M test that uses a urine sample. The blood sample version of the test, however, is the most commonly used method for CLL patients. 

Do I Need to Prepare for the B2M Test? 

No special preparation is typically required for the B2M test. Consult with your doctor regarding any questions you may have. 

How Long Will It Take to Recieve My B2M Results? 

The time frame to receive the results of your B2M test can vary depending on the laboratory and healthcare facility. Typically, results are available within a few days, but it can sometimes take up to a week. Your healthcare provider will inform you when to expect the results and how they will be communicated to you. 

What Do My B2M Test Results Mean? 

The interpretation of your B2M test results should be completed by a healthcare professional familiar with your medical history and your CLL. 

In general: 

  • B2M blood sample: 
    • Normal range: The normal range of B2M in the blood is usually between 1.5 to 3 mg/L. This may vary slightly between laboratories. 
    • Elevated levels: Higher levels of B2M in your blood may indicate more advanced CLL. 
  • B2M urine sample: 
    • Normal range: The normal range of B2M in a urine sample is usually between 0.04 to 0.22 mg/L. 
    • Elevated levels: Higher levels of B2M in a urine sample indicate that there is a condition impacting your kidneys. 

In conclusion, the B2M test is a helpful tool for monitoring your CLL. By assessing how much of the B2M protein is in your blood (and/or urine), your doctor can understand how fast your CLL is progressing. This information helps your doctor make informed decisions regarding the treatment of your CLL. 

The author Megan Heaps

about the author
Megan Heaps

Megan joined HealthTree in 2022. As a writer and the daughter of a blood cancer patient, she is dedicated to helping patients and their caregivers understand the various aspects of their disease. This understanding enables them to better advocate for themselves and improve their treatment outcomes. In her spare time, she enjoys spending time with her family. 

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