Serum Viscosity

Serum viscosity. Effective diagnosis and monitoring for Waldenstrom Macroglobulinemia and Multiple Myeloma.

Serum viscosity measurements give a significant advantage to effective diagnosis and monitoring of patients suffering from conditions like Waldenstrom Macroglobulinemia and Multiple Myeloma.

The Benson BV1 and BV200 automated clinical viscometers use a controlled force in the form of a regulated vacuum to aspirate only 50µl of serum sample through a calibrated capillary tube to determine the dynamic viscosity. The viscosity is calculated by measuring the exact time the fluid passes between two determined positions of the capillary tube using infra-red timing optics.

The viscosity of the serum is slightly lower than that of plasma due to the absence of clotting factors like fibrinogen.

Serum, like plasma, is considered to operate as a Newtonian fluid, indicating that its viscosity remains constant regardless of flow rate.

The most common cause for an elevated serum hyperviscosity is the presence of a large concentration of IgM Monoclonal Proteins. This is commonly observed in Waldenstrom Macroglobulinemia that account for 80-90% hyperviscosity cases.

The ability of a monoclonal protein to cause hyperviscosity is affected by its concentration, molecular weight, and aggregation. The diagnosis of Hyperviscosity Syndrome (HVS) is confirmed by the accurate measurement of an elevated serum viscosity in a patient with characteristic clinical manifestation of HVS.

The instruments measure and report the serum viscosity at a controlled 37°c but can also report at the 25°c equivalent. The units of a serum viscosity are mPa.s (milli-pascal seconds), which is the International System of Units (SI).

It is important to note that 1 mPa.s is equivalent to 1cP.Centipoise (cP) units. Centipoise units are considered an industrial measurement unit. Centimetre-gram-second (CGS). A system of units named after the French physicist Jean Leonard Marie Poiseuille.

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