What is multiple myeloma (MM)?

Updated: Jul 15, 2019
  • Author: Dhaval Shah, MD; Chief Editor: Emmanuel C Besa, MD  more...
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Answer

Multiple myeloma (MM) is a plasma cell malignancy in which monoclonal plasma cells proliferate in bone marrow, resulting in an overabundance of monoclonal paraprotein (M protein), destruction of bone, and displacement of other hematopoietic cell lines. First described in 1848, MM is part of a spectrum of diseases ranging from monoclonal gammopathy of unknown significance (MGUS) to plasma cell leukemia. See the image below.

Bone marrow aspirate demonstrating plasma cells of Bone marrow aspirate demonstrating plasma cells of multiple myeloma. Note the blue cytoplasm, eccentric nucleus, and perinuclear pale zone (or halo). All images and text are (c) 2002 by the American Society of Hematology. All rights reserved.

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