Objectives: To verify the analytical performance of a new mass spectrometry–based method, termed MASS-FIX, when screening for plasma cell disorders in a routine clinical laboratory. Patients and Methods: Results from 19,523 unique patients tested for an M-protein between July 24, 2018, and March 6, 2020, by a combination serum protein electrophoresis (SPEP) and MASS-FIX were examined for consistency with pretest implementation performance. MASS-FIX's ability to verify abnormal results from SPEP and free light chain measurements was then compared with that of immunofixation electrophoresis (IFE) using a separate cohort of 52,586 patients tested by SPEP/IFE during the same period. Results: Overall, 62.4% of our cohort was negative for an M-protein. Importantly, 7.3% of all specimens had an M spike on SPEP (0.1 to 8.5 g/dL) and MASS-FIX detected an M-protein in all these samples. Of all samples, 30.3% had M-proteins that were detected by MASS-FIX but the SPEP finding was too small for quantification. Of the positive samples, 5.7% contained a therapeutic monoclonal antibody. Of the positive samples, 4.1% had an N-glycosylated light chain (biomarker of high-risk plasma cell disorders). MASS-FIX confirmed a higher percentage of SPEP abnormalities than IFE. MASS-FIX was slightly more sensitive than IFE when confirming an M-protein in samples with an abnormal free light chain ratio. MASS-FIX had a very low sample repeat rate (1.5%). MASS-FIX was highly automatable resulting in a higher number of samples/technologist/day than IFE (∼30% more). Conclusion: Overall, MASS-FIX was successful in maintaining validation characteristics. MASS-FIX was more sensitive in confirming SPEP abnormalities when compared with IFE. Ability to detect therapeutic monoclonal antibodies and glycosylated light chains was distinctly advantageous.
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