What the Intensivists Need to Know About Critically Ill Myeloma Patients

  • Ranjit Nair
  • Krina PatelEmail author
Reference work entry


Multiple myeloma (MM) is a hematological malignancy characterized by an increase in aberrant plasma cells in the bone marrow leading to rising monoclonal protein in serum and urine. With the introduction of novel therapies with manageable side effects, this incurable disease has evolved into a chronic disease with an acceptable quality of life for the majority of patients. Accordingly, management of acute complications is fundamental in reducing the morbidity and mortality in MM. MM emergencies include symptoms and signs related directly to the disease and/or to the treatment; many organs may be involved including, but not limited to, renal, cardiovascular, neurologic, hematologic, and infectious complications. This review will focus on the numerous approaches that are aimed at managing these complications.


Multiple myeloma Oncologic emergencies 



Atrial fibrillation


Acute respiratory distress syndrome


Bronchoalveolar lavage


Diffuse alveolar hemorrhage


Deep vein thrombosis


Estimated glomerular filtration rate


Free light chain


Immunoglobulin A


Immunoglobulin G


Immunoglobulin M


Light chain


Leptomeningeal myelomatosis


Multiple myeloma


Magnetic resonance imaging


Polymerase chain reaction


Pulmonary embolism


Risk of renal injury/injury to the kidney/failure of kidney function/loss of kidney function/end-stage disease


Radiation therapy


Right ventricle


Serum creatinine


Tumor lysis syndrome


Therapeutic plasma exchange


Conflicts of Interest

KP = research funds from Poseida, Intrexon/Ziopharm, Takeda. Advisory board/consultancy in Takeda, DAVA oncology, Celgene, Janssen, Amgen, BMS, and Oncopeptides.


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© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2020

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Lymphoma and Myeloma, Division of Cancer MedicineThe University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer CenterHoustonUSA

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