Multiple Myeloma and Plasma Cell Dyscrasias

  • Pietro Zucchelli
  • Sonia Pasquali


The term plasma cell dyscrasias includes a number of diseases characterized by a single clone expansion of plasma cells and their immediate precursors, the activated B cells. The result of that proliferation is a qualitative and quantitative alteration in immunoglobulin synthesis, with a production of a single type of whole immunoglobulin and/or a variety of immunoglobulin fragments, all antigenically similar (M component). Plasma cell dyscrasias particularly comprise multiple myeloma, Waldenstrom’s macroglobulinemia, monoclonal gammopathy of undetermined significance (also called benign monoclonal gammopathy), and (rarely) lymphoma or lymphocytic leukemia. Multiple myeloma (MM) is a B-cell cancer characterized by proliferation of mature plasma cells and B lymphocytes in different evolution stages (frequently expressing the pre-B-cell antigen called CALLA) (1). MM represents one of the relatively common hematologic malignancies whose incidence rises with age to approximately 7 per 100,000 at age 50 and to more than 20 per 100,000 at age 80 (2).


Multiple Myeloma Light Chain Peritoneal Dialysis Familial Mediterranean Fever Deposition Disease 
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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 1998

Authors and Affiliations

  • Pietro Zucchelli
    • 1
  • Sonia Pasquali
    • 1
  1. 1.Malpighi Department of NephrologyPoliclinico S. Orsola-MalpighiBolognaItaly

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