A 41-year-old white male patient presented to the pulmonary clinic complaining of chronic exertional dyspnea. He had a 15-year history of smoking, but no prior diagnosis of lung disease. A comprehensive battery of laboratory tests was performed. Results for complete blood count, serum chemistry panel, hepatic function tests, and inflammatory markers were within reference intervals. Arterial blood gas measurement revealed hypoxemia and hypercapnia. Serum protein capillary zone electrophoresis results are shown in Fig. 1

Fig. 1 Superimposition of 2 serum capillary zone electrophoresis profiles: that of the patient (gray) and of a healthy individual with values within the reference intervals (white).

The arrow indicates significant differences between values for the patient and for the healthy individual.

Questions

  1. What finding does this protein electrophoresis gel demonstrate?
  2. What could be the diagnosis for this pattern?
  3. How can the diagnosis be established?
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