What is the spectrum of disease caused by plasma cell lesions?

Updated: Oct 14, 2019
  • Author: Lesley Elizabeth Fox, MD; Chief Editor: Francis H Gannon, MD  more...
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Plasma cell neoplasms show a spectrum of disease from asymptomatic to symptomatic forms. In either form of plasma cell myeloma, immune dysfunction, cytopenias and lytic bone lesions occur as a result of direct cellular interactions (cytokines, growth factors) and/or mass effect. [3] Readers are referred to the 2008 World Health Organization (WHO) Classification of Tumors of Hematopoietic and Lymphoid Tissues [1] for the specifics of each clinical entity. The key clinical features will be covered in this review.

Plasma cell myeloma presents with generalized marrow involvement, with or without lytic lesions of bone. It tends to involve bones of active hematopoiesis, most commonly the vertebral column, long bones, and skull. [1, 3] When present, extramedullary involvement is generally a feature of clinically aggressive disease.

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