Fast Five Quiz: Do You Know Key Signs and Symptoms of Rare Diseases?

Germaine L. Defendi, MD, MS; Emmanuel C. Besa, MD; Michael Stuart Bronze, MD


September 29, 2016

Waldenström macroglobulinemia, one of the malignant monoclonal gammopathies, is a chronic, indolent, lymphoproliferative disorder. It is characterized by the presence of a high level of a macroglobulin (immunoglobulin M [IgM]), elevated serum viscosity, and the presence of a lymphoplasmacytic infiltrate in the bone marrow.

A clonal disease of B lymphocytes, Waldenström macroglobulinemia is considered to be a lymphoplasmacytic lymphoma, as defined by the Revised European American Lymphoma (REAL) classification and World Health Organization (WHO) classification.

The clinical manifestations of Waldenström macroglobulinemia result from the presence of the IgM paraprotein and malignant lymphoplasmacytic cell infiltration of the bone marrow and other tissue sites. The clinical presentation is similar to that of multiple myeloma except that (1) organomegaly is common in Waldenström macroglobulinemia and is uncommon in multiple myeloma, and (2) lytic bony disease and renal disease are uncommon in Waldenström macroglobulinemia but are common in multiple myeloma.

For more on Waldenström macroglobulinemia, read here.


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