Macroenzyme detection by polyethylene glycol precipitation

Ann Clin Biochem 2003;40:514-520
doi:10.1258/000456303322326425
© 2003 Association for Clinical Biochemistry

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Original Articles


D Fraser Davidson and
Dawn JM Watson


Biochemistry Department, Crosshouse Hospital, Kilmarnock KA2 0BE, UK;
Biochemistry Department, Crosshouse Hospital, Kilmarnock KA2 0BE, UK


Background: The presence of macroenzymes can cause significantdiagnostic confusion and their detection can involve relativelycumbersome analytical procedures.

Methods: Using a simplified polyethylene glycol precipitationtechnique and isoenzyme electrophoresis, this report describesthe construction of reference ranges of precipitable activityfor each of seven commonly measured enzymes in plasma.

Results: The proposed reference ranges are reported. Since introducingthe protocol, 12 cases of macroenzymaemia have been encountered.Three typical case histories are described in some detail.

Conclusions: The polyethylene glycol precipitation method hasthus far proved to be a simple and effective additional testfor the detection of macroenzymes when the plasma enzyme activityis elevated.


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